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tBBC Ten Questions with Katie Smith


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


(photo courtesy espn.go.com)

I am thrilled to introduce to tBBC and all of Buckeye Nation the great Katie Smith. We all know Katie, of her legend, and the complete excitement she delivered for us while playing for The Ohio State University. Back in early January of this year I featured Katie in my weekly piece that profiles GREAT Buckeyes ‘Making the List’. The response to that article was amazing. Katie is currently an assistant coach with the NY Liberty of the WNBA and is in preparations of their season beginning soon. She graciously agreed to carve some time in her busy schedule to answer my Ten Questions – of which I am pleased to pass onto you …. Enjoy!

tBBC: Your father John and brother Tom are Ohio University Lettermen in football … your brother John played on one of Division III Mount Union’s National Championship teams in football…is there ever any playful competitive bantering in the Smith household?

Smith: Of Course!!! There is the Ohio University – the first university in Ohio not Ohio State. Also my big brother John was the only one to win a college national championship!

tBBC: At Logan High School when you were named The Gatorade National Player of the Year – did you ever imagine the ride you were about to undertake?

Smith: Not a clue!! Never in my wildest dreams would I think that my life/career would be what it has! I think that’s been one of the things I have enjoyed is it was so unexpected – so no expectations on how it would go! You just went out and did your best and tried to enjoy the amazing experiences and people you came across.

tBBC: Of all your statistics at The Ohio State University – which I confess are nothing shy of greatness – are you most proud of and please share with us why?

Smith: Stats have never really been a major thought. It was pretty cool when I finished at Ohio State to have scored the most points at that time than any other male or female player. But of course with all records they get broken
The run we had my freshman year making it to the NCAA Tournament championship game was really the most memorable time of my college career.

tBBC: Have you stayed in touch with anyone from your days of roaming the Oval – like, perhaps Nancy Darsch?

Smith: I do see and talk to Nancy periodically. She actually was an assistant with the WNBA Seattle Storm when I played there for two seasons. I do talk to some of my teammates via Facebook and I’ll see some that are still here locally. I also see many alum at different times. My path randomly crosses with many throughout the year whether in Columbus or wherever my travels take me

tBBC: Every OSU student has that special spot on campus they enjoy escaping to for either alone time, or interaction with close friends, did you have such a spot – and if so, where was it?

Smith: I really enjoyed being in the St John……even just sitting up in the stands whether volleyball was practicing or it was quiet with no-one practicing. I think empty gyms are a peaceful place.

tBBC: In Professional Basketball you had stops in Columbus (ABL), Minnesota, Detroit, Washington, Seattle, and New York, where did you enjoy playing the most and please share with us why?

Smith: Hard to pick one!! I really enjoyed all but to narrow it down I enjoyed being able to play here in Columbus because I felt like I became a part of the community during that time. I wasn’t just a student-athlete. I was able to build relationships with fans and business men and women. Detroit was great because they are die hard sports fans and love their teams!!! Our teams were talented and competed every night and I had so much fun with them all. That was also when Bill Laimbeer came into my life! As a city I really love Seattle……mind you I only spent summers there! The scenery, restaurants, people, friendliness, dog friendly, convenience, culture…..I had a blast roaming the city! I also Love NY!! It has everything and everyone! So many things to do and see! The diversity! It has been such an amazing experience being able to stay there the last 3 summers.

tBBC: Professionally speaking – which is the most important accomplishment for you – being a 2-time WNBA Champion (2006, 2008) – being a WNBA Finals MVP (2008) – being named twice on the All-WNBA first team (2001, 2003) – being named to the WNBA All-Star team 7 times – being the WNBA scoring champion (2001) – or when you were named to the All-Decade WNBA team – please elaborate?

Smith: It would be the 2 WNBA Championship teams and a close second would be the All-Decade team. I had been in the WNBA for 7 seasons when I finally won a championship. As you get older you understand how limited your opportunities are to get to the finals and win a championship! As a kid you think you’ll get tons of chances. Competing against the best basketball players in the world and the camaraderie of our team. I had a blast playing in Detroit with my teammates and coaches. We actually went to the finals in 2007 and lost but were right back at it in 2008. The mental and physical demands it takes to be that consistent for those years was such a challenge but so rewarding! Some of my favorite times in basketball!

tBBC: You are a 3-time Gold Medal winner in the Olympics (2000 – Sydney, Australia; 2004 – Athens, Greece; & 2008 – Beijing, China). What does it feel like to be an Olympian? And of those three stops which location do you recall most fondly – and why?

Smith: It really is an amazing feeling! It is the pinnacle of most sports and I had such a huge sense of appreciation for the journey and of all those who had played a role in my life. Especially my family for all the gyms they sat in, road trips in our van all over the state and country, their constant support and love without such selfless people I wouldn’t have been there. I also felt like I was representing my hometown of Logan, The Ohio State University, and Ohio. It was a very proud moment for the work that myself, and so many people – helping me get there. Out of the 3 stops Sydney was my first and my fondest although all three were awesome! Being my first and being in a beautiful country like Australia – and they were amazing hosts. It was easy to get around and see other events and the city.

tBBC: I have a tough one – who is your favorite Ohio State athlete of all time – they may be from any era?

Smith: WOW!!! This really is an impossible question….I will go with Phyllis Bailey……She dedicated her 40-year career to improving opportunities for women’s athletics. At the university, she served as an instructor, advisor, coordinator of intramurals and recreation, women’s basketball coach and coordinator of women’s sports programs in the physical education department. She finished her exemplary career with 20 years of service as an Assistant Athletics Director. Truly an amazing woman!

tBBC: Please share with Buckeye Nation what you love of the Ohio State University and what it means to you in being a Buckeye?

Smith: I love the connection that past and present Ohio State University students have. The bond continues to grow with the University as you move on in your life. So much to be proud of and cheer on at The Ohio State University whether athletics or academically. Being a Buckeye is part of your identity….sounds crazy when I just wrote that but it’s true…it helped shape me into who I am. GO BUCKS!

Thank you Katie for this time you granted us. Our readers at tBBC and all of Buckeye Nation certainly are grateful as well. We wish you continued success in your journey. Please stay in touch … come by any time you wish to just say hi, let us know how the Liberty’s doing, or share any thoughts. We will be honored to hear from you. We are all The Ohio State University.

The post Ten Questions with Katie Smith appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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