Other than perhaps Jimmy Jackson, for a certain generation of fans (a generation that includes me), there is no more dominant and important Ohio State basketball player than Katie Smith, and last night the Buckeye, ABL, WNBA and Olympic legend was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Following her four years as a Buckeye from 1992-96, in 2001, Smith became the first female student athlete to have her number retired at Ohio State. Her 2,578 career points currently ranks third in school history.
Ohio Raised This Hooper ♀️— Katie Smith (@katiesmith30) September 1, 2018
☑️ 2x ABL Champion with the Columbus Quest https://t.co/tR5MQjw8wl
However, her on-court dominance spanned far beyond OSU’s campus. Having eclipsed 7,000 career points, between her times in the ABL and WNBA, Smith is the all-time leading scorer in North American women’s professional basketball history. She won two ABL championships with the Columbus Quest in 1997 and 1998, and two more titles with the WNBA’s Detroit Shock in 2006 and 2008; the latter of which earned her a finals MVP honor.
Despite being a nine-time all-star in the ABL and WNBA, Smith’s biggest career accomplishments arguably came as a member of Team USA. In 1998 and 2002, she was a member of two FIBA World Champion teams, and won Olympic gold medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
After ending her playing career with the New York Liberty in 2013, Smith has been a coach with the team ever since; first as an assistant, and having just completed her first season as the Liberty’s head coach. Former Buckeye great Herb Williams is one of Smith’s assistants.
Check out Smith’s Hall of Fame speech:
What a moment for @katiesmith30! Check out her full speech from tonight's @Hoophall of Fame enshrinement! #18HoopClass pic.twitter.com/qvbXplRWhs— WNBA (@WNBA) September 8, 2018
Congratulations to one of the greatest Buckeyes of all time.