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tBBC Making the List: Katie Smith


Making the List: Katie Smith
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


Today we shall talk basketball.

Many greats have played round-ball for The Ohio State University. I mentioned previously both Herb Williams and Frank Howard. We all know the names that I have yet to address. They shall come soon enough. But when a discussion of any basketball player that has donned a scarlet and gray uniform emerges – why is it that Katie Smith falls behind the names of her male counterparts?

Born in Lancaster, Ohio in 1974 she would spend her informative years in nearby Logan. At Logan High School she was named the National Gatorade Player of the Year in her senior year as she steered the Lady Chieftains to the Division I Ohio Girls’ Basketball state championship. Smith would be named a High School All-American by the WBCA. She participated in the inaugural WBCA High School All-America Game in 1992, scoring fourteen points, and earning the MVP honors.

Katie, from a family of college athletes, mainly Ohio University (OU Bearcats), would go onto The Ohio State University. Not only would she shine as a Buckeye – she’d completely dominate.

Dennis Hopson holds the scoring record for the Men’s Basketball program with 2,096 points. Katie Smith scored 2,578 points total in her Buckeye career.

While a Buckeye she would be named to the academic All-Big Ten three times. She was also chosen as the Big Ten Player of the Year in 1996. During her senior season, she dropped a total of 745 points.

Smith is the all-time career scoring leader in the Big Ten history, male or female. This record does not appear to be threatened any time soon – the child has not been born yet that will break it.

She was the reason the Buckeyes reached their only Final Four and lone appearance in a NCAA Championship game – losing that title match against Texas Tech in 1993; 84-82.

With 10 career, six single-season, and six single-game records under her belt, Smith was inducted into the OSU Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2001. Earlier that year, her jersey number 30, was retired. She is the only woman basketball player to have achieved such an honor.

Not only would she be the greatest female basketball player in The Ohio State University history of Women’s Basketball but she went onto to the next level, professionally, and is rated as one of the top 10 players of all-time in the Pro-World. She was the first American woman to score 6,000 points in professional basketball.

As if this is not enough she also earned three Olympic Gold Medals in basketball (2000, 2004 & 2008) along with the bragging rights of being a player on a team that won 2 World Championships in her short time of playing professionally in Europe.

Smith graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s in zoology in 1996. She’d play professionally with four teams in women’s professional basketball: the now defunct Columbus Quest of the ABL, the Minnesota Lynx, the Detroit Shock (now in Tulsa), and the New York Liberty, all of the WNBA. She would be the MVP of the WNBA Finals in 2008 when the Shock beat up on the San Antonio Silver Stars in a sweep.

She retired as a player in 2013 and would accept a job as an assistant coach with the New York Liberty of the WNBA.

She once laughed and said: “I’ll figure out what life is all about when basketball lets me go. It doesn’t want to do that just yet.”
Katie Smith was the greatest basketball player ever to be a Buckeye – Man or Woman.

Her accomplishments are unheralded and have been relatively hidden for no other reason than her gender. She is just as deserving for acknowledgement of Making the List as any other athlete that may surface in our minds. In truth – she “may” be more deserving…

I am pleased to add Katie Smith to the growing list of Great Buckeyes who have earned our admiration. She has indeed done precisely that.

The post Making the List: Katie Smith appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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