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Adrian Smith (basketball) facts for kids

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Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith Royals.jpg
No. 10
Point guard
Personal information
Born (1936-10-05) October 5, 1936 (age 87)
Farmington, Kentucky, U.S.
Nationality American
High school Farmington (Farmington, Kentucky)
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
  • Northeast Mississippi CC (1954–1956)
  • Kentucky (1956–1958)
NBA Draft 1958 / Round: 15 / Pick: 85th overall
Selected by the Cincinnati Royals
Pro career 1961–1972
Career history
1959–1960 USAF All-Stars
1961 Akron Wingfoots
1961–1969 Cincinnati Royals
1969–1971 San Francisco Warriors
1971–1972 Virginia Squires
Career highlights and awards
  • NBA All-Star (1966)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (1966)
  • NCAA champion (1958)
Career NBA and ABA statistics
Points 8,750 (11.3 ppg)
Rebounds 1,626 (2.1 rpg)
Assists 1,739 (2.3 apg)
Men's basketball
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1960 Rome Team competition
Pan American Games
Gold 1959 Chicago

Adrian Howard "Odie" Smith (born October 5, 1936) is an American former professional basketball player.

Early life

Smith was the fifth of six children of Oury and Ruth Smith of Farmington, Kentucky. The family lived in a farmhouse that had no electricity and no indoor plumbing. He was nicknamed "Odie" after a comedian on the Grand Ole Opry. As a child, he attended a three-room schoolhouse in rural Graves County, Kentucky. Because the family didn't have money for a basketball, he learned to shoot one his mother made from rolling up his dad's socks.

He attended Farmington High School, where he nearly didn't play high school basketball until the school's principal and basketball coach agreed to give him a ride home, a distance of seven miles, after practices. As a senior, his only scholarship offer was from nearby Murray State University, but he took too long to accept and the offer was withdrawn.

College career

Adrian Smith UK
Smith from the 1958 Kentuckian

Smith enrolled to play basketball at Northeast Mississippi Junior College (now known as Northeast Mississippi Community College). After Smith excelled on the court, Northeast coach Bonner Arnold convinced legendary University of Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp to send a scout to see Smith, and UK offered a scholarship.

Smith didn't see much action his junior season until Kentucky's star guard, Vernon Hatton, went out with an appendectomy, and for seven games, Smith averaged 16.3 points. As a senior, Smith was a starter and averaged 12.4 points per game. The Wildcats' team, known as the "Fiddlin' Five", beat Seattle University 84-72 to win the 1957–58 national championship, led by 30 points from Hatton and 24 from Johnny Cox. Smith averaged just under 14 points in UK's four NCAA tourney wins, including seven in the championship game.

Smith graduated from Kentucky with a business degree.

After college

He was selected in the 1958 NBA draft, but not until the 15th round (85th overall) by the Cincinnati Royals. Instead of attempting to make the Royals, he joined the U.S. Army, where he played on the Army's all-star team and in 1960 was selected to play on the eventual undefeated U.S. men's basketball team that won the gold medal in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy. The team went 8-0 in the Olympics, led by future hall-of-famers Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, and Jerry West, although in the opening win against host Italy, Smith was the team's leading scorer, with 17 points scored. The team's average margin of victory in the eight games was 42.4 points per game.

Professional career

Smith began his professional career in the 1961–62 NBA season. During his first three seasons, he served as a backup guard behind Oscar Robertson and Bucky Bockhorn, averaging about 20 minutes per game with scoring averages of 7.2, 8.9, and 9.4, respectively.

In his fourth season of 1964–65, he became a starter in the Royals' backcourt alongside Robertson. Playing over 34 minutes per game, he averaged 15.1 points per game, with a .456 field goal percentage and .830 free throw percentage.

The 1965–66 season was both his most productive and noteworthy. He averaged a career-high 18.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as the Royals went 45-35 and, in the Eastern Division semifinals, extended the Boston Celtics to a fifth and deciding game before falling to the eventual NBA champions. On December 15 he scored a career-high 34 points against the Celtics, and followed that up on January 5 with another career-high of 35 points. During the season, Smith was selected to the 1966 NBA All-Star Game and, surprisingly for a game that including sixteen future Hall-of-Famers, Smith was named MVP after he scored 24 points in 26 minutes. It was his only All-Star appearance, and for winning the MVP award, he received a new Ford Galaxie car.

In his sixth NBA season, 1966–67, Smith averaged 16.6 points per game and led the NBA with a .903 free throw percentage and, for the fourth time, the durable Smith led the league in games played. In 1967–68, Smith averaged 15.6 points per game in his last year as a starter. In 1968–69, playing primarily as a backup to Robertson and Tom Van Arsdale, Smith averaged 9.6 ponts per game.

In the 1969–70 season, after 32 games with the Royals, Smith was traded to the San Francisco Warriors, for whom he played another 45 games, averaging 5.9 points per game for the season. In 1970–71, his 10th NBA season, he played only 21 games, averaging 5.3 points per game in his final NBA season.

In 1971–72 he played for the American Basketball Association's Virginia Squires, averaging 5.1 points per game. He also played 13 times for the United States.


The entire 1960 USA Olympic basketball team, including Smith, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August 13, 2010. Smith is also a member of the Northeast Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame.

Life after basketball

After 11 seasons of playing professional basketball, Smith became a banker, working for many years as a commercial relationship manager for Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank. He currently is a vice president for Fifth-Third Bank. He resides in Cincinnati with his wife, Paula, in the only house they've ever owned—and he still has the Ford Galaxie he won from the 1966 NBA All-Star Game.

NBA/ABA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
* Led the league

Regular season

1961–62 Cincinnati 80 18.3 .405 .775 1.9 2.1 7.2
1962–63 Cincinnati 79 19.3 .443 .811 2.2 1.8 8.9
1963–64 Cincinnati 66 23.1 .406 .782 2.2 2.2 9.4
1964–65 Cincinnati 80 34.3 .456 .830 2.8 3.0 15.1
1965–66 Cincinnati 80 37.3 .405 .850 3.6 3.2 18.4
1966–67 Cincinnati 81 32.5 .438 .903* 2.5 2.3 16.6
1967–68 Cincinnati 82 33.9 .464 .829 2.3 3.3 15.6
1968–69 Cincinnati 73 18.3 .432 .807 1.4 1.7 9.6
1969–70 Cincinnati 32 14.2 .405 .867 1.0 1.4 5.4
1969–70 San Francisco 45 14.1 .347 .909 1.1 1.9 6.4
1970–71 San Francisco 21 11.8 .427 .854 1.1 1.4 5.3
1971–72 Virginia (ABA) 53 12.9 .446 .893 .9 .8 5.1
Career 772 24.6 .430 .838 2.1 2.3 11.3


1962 Cincinnati 4 13.3 .421 1.000 1.3 .8 5.3
1963 Cincinnati 12 16.7 .402 .705 1.3 2.3 8.1
1964 Cincinnati 7 9.4 .308 .714 1.3 .6 3.0
1965 Cincinnati 4 37.5 .375 .955 2.8 5.3 14.3
1966 Cincinnati 5 31.4 .373 .955* 2.4 2.6 13.0
1967 Cincinnati 4 30.0 .375 .750 2.0 2.8 11.3
1972 Virginia (ABA) 11 27.0 .465 .865 1.7 1.5 11.4
Career 47 22.2 .402 .832 1.7 2.1 9.2

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Adrian Smith (baloncestista) para niños

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