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NBA Player Steve Smith to retire

 


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| Sept. 29, 2005

Steve Smith NBA playerFormer Michigan State All-American Steve Smith will announce his NBA retirement on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center on the Michigan State campus. The announcement will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the building named in his mother's honor. Smith donated $2.5 million to the $7.5 million facility, which when opened in 1998, was the largest gift ever by a professional athlete to any college or university.

A native of Detroit, Mich., Smith scored 13,430 points in 14 NBA seasons, averaging 14.3 points per game. An NBA All-Star in 1998, he won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 1998 and the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2002. The fifth pick in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Smith was named to the 1992 All-Rookie First Team. His career also included stops with the Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats. In 2003, Smith earned an NBA Championship ring with the Spurs.

A two-time All-America selection at Michigan State, Smith finished his career as the Spartans' all-time leading scorer with 2,263 points. (He currently ranks second.) As a junior, Smith was the recipient of the Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball Award, presented to the Big Ten MVP, after averaging 20.2 points and 7.0 rebounds for a Spartan squad that finished 28-6 and won the Big Ten Championship. In his senior season, Smith increased his scoring average to 25.1 points, leading the Spartans back to the NCAA Tournament. In addition to ranking second in career scoring, Smith ranks among the top five in six other Spartan career statistical categories, including scoring average (3rd, 18.5 ppg), field goals (3rd, 826), field-goal attempts (2nd, 1,623), 3-point field goals (5th, 147), free throws (3rd, 464) and free-throw attempts (1st, 614), while ranking eighth in career rebounds (740) and sixth in career assists (453). In 2001, Smith was inducted into the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame, which is housed at the Smith Center.

Smith also excelled in international competition. In 2000, he won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA in Sydney. He was also a part of the USA Basketball squads that went undefeated in the 1994 World Championships in Toronto and the 1999 Tournament of the Americas in San Juan. While at MSU, he participated in the 1989 World University Games.







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