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Don Smith (basketball, born 1951)

Don Smith
Personal information
Born (1951-10-10)October 10, 1951
Dayton, Ohio
Died March 9, 2004(2004-03-09) (aged 52)
Nationality American
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Career information
High school Nettie Lee Roth (Dayton, Ohio)
College Dayton (1971–1974)
NBA draft 1974 / Round: 2 / Pick: 19th overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Pro career 1974–1975
Position Point guard
Number 10
Career history
1974–1975 Philadelphia 76ers
Career NBA statistics
Points 283 (5.2 ppg)
Rebounds 30 (0.6 rpg)
Assists 47 (0.9 apg)
Stats at

Donald "Don" Smith (October 10, 1951 – March 9, 2004) was an American professional basketball player.[1]

Donald Smith grew up in Dayton, Ohio and was a star basketball player at Roth High School in Dayton. He attended the University of Dayton. In 1971-72 as a 6'0" guard, the sophomore had an immediate impact on the team, averaging 20.2 points per game with a .442 field goal percentage and an .861 free throw percentage.[2]

As a junior, he averaged 23.4 points per game (tied for second in UD history)[2] with a .451 field goal percentage and a then-UD record (currently second) .910 free throw percentage (111-for-122).[2] He still holds the Flyers' single-game scoring record; he scored 52 points his junior season against Loyola University Chicago at Chicago Stadium, and he also had a 44-point game that season against Xavier University in which he was 20-for-25 from the field.[2]

As a senior in 1973-74, he averaged 18.0 points per game but with a career-best .469 field goal percentage and an .888 free throw percentage as the Flyers, after consecutive 13-13 seasons, went 20-9 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen.[2] There, Smith scored 36 points in a memorable triple-overtime, 111-100 loss to the Bill Walton-led UCLA Bruins.[3]

Smith ended his UD career with the career free throw percentage record of .886.[2]

Smith was selected in the second round (19th overall) of the 1974 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played for the 76ers for just the 1974–75 season. He played in 54 games, averaging exactly 10 minutes per game, and averaged 5.2 points.[4] His career-high scoring game came on March 8, 1975 with 19 points against the Washington Bullets.[5] And remaining true to his college free throw shooting form, he made every one of his 21 free throw attempts.[4]

In 1980, he was inducted into the University of Dayton Hall of Fame.[6]

Smith had been on dialysis for two years and was on The Ohio State University's waiting list for a kidney donor when, after being hospitalized for two weeks with heart problems, he died on March 9, 2004 at age 52.[7] Smith had been seriously injured in an automobile accident several months earlier, and that may have contributed to his death. His wife, Katrina, who was also injured in the accident, survived him.[8]

In 2004, Smith was named to the University of Dayton's All-Century Team.[2]


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