Leon Smith
Personal information
Born (1980-11-02) November 2, 1980 (age 41)
Chicago, Illinois
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High schoolMartin Luther King
(Chicago, Illinois)
NBA draft1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 29th overall
Selected by the San Antonio Spurs
Playing career2000–2007
PositionCenter
Number41, 35
Career history
2000–2001St. Louis Swarm
2001–2002Sioux Falls Skyforce
2002Gary Steelheads
2002Atlanta Hawks
2002–2003Gary Steelheads
2003Caguas Creoles
2003Texas Rim Rockers
2003–2004Gary Steelheads
2004Great Lakes Storm
2004Seattle SuperSonics
2007Estudiantes de Bahía Blanca
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Leon Smith (born November 2, 1980) is an American former professional basketball player. He played in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Continental Basketball Association, the USBL and the IBL, and abroad in Puerto Rico and Argentina.

Smith was raised in a foster home, called Lydia Children's Home, as a ward of the state of Illinois due to neglect from his parents when he was five years old.[1]

Smith was selected out of Chicago's Martin Luther King High School (where he averaged 25.5 points and 14.5 rebounds per game in his senior year)[2] by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round (29th overall) of the 1999 NBA Draft, and was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Gordan Giriček and a second-round pick in the 2000 NBA Draft. However, in subsequent months he suffered numerous psychological concerns, and was released in February 2000 without ever playing a game for the Mavericks.[3] A month previous, Smith was released from a psychiatric ward to where he was committed for several weeks, after an incident in which he threw a rock through a car window and swallowed approximately 250 aspirin tablets and would tell police officers, "I am an Indian fighting Columbus".[4]

Smith played for the Gary Steelheads and Sioux Falls Skyforce of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) during the 2001–02 season and earned CBA All-League Second Team honors.[5] In January 2002, Smith was signed by the Atlanta Hawks for whom he played 14 games. His short stint with the Hawks involved being waived, signed back a second time, and eventually being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, for whom he never played.[6]

Smith played for the Great Lakes Storm of the CBA during the 2003–04 season and was selected to the CBA All-Defensive Team.[5] Late in the 2003–04 NBA season, the Seattle SuperSonics signed Smith to a contract,[7] but he only played one game for them.

References

  1. ^ "Hard times for Leon Smith".
  2. ^ "Harvey named national player of the year". USA Today. 1999-05-21. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  3. ^ "Mavericks release rookie Leon Smith".
  4. ^ "Suspended Mavs rookie checks out of psychiatric ward".
  5. ^ a b "Leon Smith minor league basketball statistics". Stats Crew. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  6. ^ "Hawks Transactions Archive". nba.com.
  7. ^ "All News". Oklahoma City Thunder. Archived from the original on 2005-02-13. Retrieved 2006-11-23.