The Truth About The Smarts and The Fortes

by Kenny Boren on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 2:40pm

I am writing this with the permission of both families', the Smarts and the Fortes. It is important to know the facts, and the entire story, rather than blurbs, half-truths, and rumors/lies. It is unfortunate that no one really has a recourse to the media giant, the Dallas Morning News, or to anonymous/cowardly emails and sources that started this whole chain of events. One is left with only public perception, and that is not fair. Think how you would feel if this were to happen to you on the front page of a newspaper for-profit. Most of the facts below were presented to Mr. Dent (by the LISD ) who wrote the article, and the Editor of the Dallas Morning News, Mr. Whitfield, who chose to publish it on the front page. They chose not to use the personal and truthful facts in their article. They left most of it completely out, on purpose.

Social media is our only recourse to get the truth out. This has nothing to do with a player on a basketball team. It has everything to do with a 16 year old kid (Marcus) and a 17 year-old kid (Phillip) who I admire, respect, and love. Please spread this publication and its facts to all your social media friends. Facebook helped elect a President, so I'm sure it can be just as effective as the front page of a newspaper for-profit.

The Facts:

Fact- The Dallas Morning News had information that they presented in their article before their chosen publication date (Saturday, Feb. 19th). They chose to investigate it and publish it 3 days before the start of the State Playoffs and one day after the conclusion of the UIL Regular Season, a regular season we went 32-1 in.

Fact- Mr. Forte transparently owns the Smarts' rental home.

Fact- The Smarts' transparently have rented, for $800/month, the property from Mr. Forte over the past three years. The $800/month rent is excess of $100 of the principle and interest payment of Mr. Forte's mortgage of the property.

Fact- LISD initiated and transparently released this information to the District 8-5A Executive Committee in September, 2010 (the beginning of the school year) as soon as it was discovered.

Fact- The Forte's and Smart 's are close, personal friends, and have been for many years.

Fact- Marcus and Phillip are LIFELONG friends, to the extent of brotherhood.

Fact- Marcus struggled in South Dallas (Red Oak) academically and on state mandated tests (which he did not succeed on). Tragic events in their family played a part in this.

Fact- Marcus' uncle Gary (Marcus' mom's brother) was shot and is wheelchaired because of a car theft incident while they were living in South Dallas.The are now his primary care-giver.

Fact- Mrs. Smart receives dialysis three days (3-4 hour sitting each time) a week for reasons I'm sure you can figure out. It is extremely tough on her on the days of dialysis.

Fact- While in his old residence in South Dallas, Marcus' oldest brother, a great basketball player and someone Marcus idoled, was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age 15. He passed away at age 33 after a lengthy and painful battle with this cancer.

Fact- concerned about their son because of the facts mentioned above, Mr. and Mrs. Smart decided they needed to move for the well being of their son.

Fact- The Smart's moved to Flower Mound late summer between Marcus' 8th grade and 9th grade year with the recommendation of their friends, the Fortes. They also researched the community and school.

Fact- Marcus HS Basketball won 18 games prior to the Smarts moving, had only made it to the regional tournament twice in its schools' twenty year varsity-eligible existence (once in the 90's and 2006)

Fact- If the Smart's wanted to move their son for "athletic purposes", it would be to a basketball powerhouse, like the ones in their backyard (Desoto/Duncanville/Cedar Hill/Lancaster/Kimball/etc...), not Flower Mound, Texas.

Fact- Mark Dent of the DMN spent a paragraph in his article about the four move-ins/transfers...

"Since Smart’s transfer in 2008, four other basketball players have moved into the Flower Mound Marcus district. Three of them are contributors on the varsity (Aj/Nick/JJ ), and one plays on the junior varsity (Ricky ). Two have played on the same AAU team (Nick/Ricky ), Texas Assault, that Smart and the son of Forte play on. None have been found to have violated UIL transfer rules."

These players are all black.

Fact- Mr. Dent did not do his homework/research. It is obvious in his article he knows nothing about the fifth move-in/transfer. A junior on the varsity who moved in/transferred two years ago.

This player is white.

Why did Mr. Dent focus solely on the black players and mention not one word about the white player?

Fact- Mr. Dent Facebook friend-requested all five black players, and only those players. Their parents found out and immediately deleted that. He also friend requested me. That request is still "pending", for proof.

Fact- Marcus Smart is an A/B honor roll student at Marcus, an Exemplary TEA Campus.

This is embarassing to have to write this. For parents to have to justify their incomes and personal information about their lives because of a choice they made to move- a choice to pursue happiness. I pray the anonymous/cowardly emails that sparked this did not come from within the community- a community I was born in and grew up in. A community where every single one of us MOVED INTO. More than likely, the vicious attacks were a result of jealousy and lies outside of the community.

The LISD has supported these two kids and families wholeheartedly and without bias, a move very appreciated by all involved.

Spread this information, as it is truth. And support us at the games. And if you don't support us, at least know the truth. Their families moved here with the assumption and rumor that our district and community is a great place to live and raise their kid. And know this- that the Smarts and the Fortes are good people, starting with their son(s) and daughters.