As we get closer to a time of madness we collectively call March, I thought it’d be only appropriate if I took a minute in Sports legends of the Ville to highlight another hoop star from the Derby City.
This time I’m taking a look at former NBA star Donta Smith.
Prior to the pros, Smith first began to get local attention as a standout forward at Oldham County High School. While at Oldham the athlete also was a solid wide receiver for the school’s football team.
However, there was no question that his true passion was on the court, wrapping up his years as a high school star by playing on the Kentucky All-Star basketball team during their two-game series against the Indiana All-Stars.
Surprisingly after that, Smith’s best offer to play college ball came from a Junior College, Southeastern Illinois College, none the less Smith made an instant impact that the small school was hoping to get, so much so that he was named to the Junior College All-American team in 2004.
Finally, after two years Rick Pitino quickly saw the mistake he made passing on the young prospect and soon enough Smith had signed to play for the University of Louisville.
However, he didn’t suit up as a Card for any games, that is, after seeing the heat his junior college play had generated he decided instead to enter the NBA draft.
A decision that paid off as the Atlanta Hawks picked up Smith in the second round.
Following a two year stint with the Hawks Smith bounced around national and international professional and semi-professional teams, among these, the Arkansas RimRockers, the Shanxi Zhongyu, and the South Dragons who Smith led to a championship.
After that the global Smith continued to make his way around the world playing basketball, currently he plays in Mexico with the Fuerza Regia team.
Image courtesy of The Age