NaLyssa Smith
NaLyssa Smith.jpg
Smith with Baylor in 2021
No. 1 – Indiana Fever
PositionPower forward
LeagueWNBA
Personal information
Born (2000-08-08) August 8, 2000 (age 22)
San Antonio, Texas
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolEast Central
(San Antonio, Texas)
CollegeBaylor (2018–2022)
WNBA draft2022 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Indiana Fever
Career history
2022–presentIndiana Fever
Career highlights and awards
Medals
Women's basketball
Representing  United States
FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Gold medal – first place 2018 Mexico City Team

NaLyssa Smith (born August 8, 2000) is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played college basketball for Baylor, winning the NCAA Division I Championship in 2019 and the Wade Trophy in 2021.[1] She was drafted second overall by the Fever in the 2022 WNBA draft.

Early life and high school career

Smith grew up in San Antonio and played at East Central High School, averaging 23.4 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per game as a senior. A five-star recruit and the no. 3 recruit by ESPN, Smith committed to playing college basketball at Baylor over schools such as South Carolina, Ohio State, and Louisville.[2][3]

College career

Freshman year

As a freshman, Smith came off the bench for the Lady Bears and provided steady minutes. Baylor coach Kim Mulkey praised Smith and said that she won many games for the Bears during their national championship season because opposing teams were too focused on the team's star players Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown.[4] In the national championship game, she came off the bench to replace an injured Cox and put up eight points and four rebounds to help Baylor win against Notre Dame.[5]

Sophomore year

Smith was promoted into the starting lineup in her sophomore year and improved on her production, averaging 14.3 points and 8 rebounds en route to earning first-team All-Big 12. She also led the Lady Bears in double-doubles with 11.[6]

Junior year

Smith continued to improve, averaging a near double-double and winning Big 12 Player of the Year.[7]

In the NCAA Tournament, Smith scored 24 points in the Lady Bears' Sweet Sixteen match against Michigan and tied a tournament record for most field goals made without a miss with 11.[8]

Smith's stellar season garnered her a number of awards, such as the Wade Trophy, the Katrina McClain Award, and All-American honors from the Associated Press, Women's Basketball Coaches Association, and the United States Basketball Writers Association.[9]

Professional career

On April 11, 2022, Smith was drafted second overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2022 WNBA draft.[10]

National team career

Smith was a member of the United States women's national under-18 basketball team at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, helping them win the gold medal in Mexico City. She was set to represent the United States women's national under-19 basketball team at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 Women's Basketball World Cup, but withdrew due to injury concerns.[11]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high ° League leader

College

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2018–19 Baylor 38 1 15.3 .543 .111 .681 5.1 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.9 8.4
2019–20 Baylor 28 27 24.1 .586 .000 .746 8.0 0.6 0.9 0.6 1.7 14.3
2020–21 Baylor 31 31 30.5 .561 .214 .792 8.9 1.2 1.2 0.8 2.8 18.0
2021–22 Baylor 35 35 32.9 .550 .237 .795 11.5 1.1 0.7 1.1 2.5 22.1
Career 132 94 25.4 .558 .200 .768 8.3 0.8 0.8 0.7 1.9 15.5

Personal life

Smith is the daughter of Rodney and Nikki Smith. Rodney was a basketball player at UTSA and her brother Rodney Jr. played soccer at the University of Saint Mary.[12]

References

  1. ^ "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  2. ^ "NaLyssa Smith is ranked No. 3 in Class of 2018 but still feels #slepton". USA Today. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  3. ^ "East Central's NaLyssa Smith Commits to Baylor". The San Antonio Observer. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  4. ^ Hinojosa, David. "East Central alum NaLyssa Smith blossoms as Baylor's go-to player". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Off the bench, Baylor's Nalyssa Smith plays big in national championship game". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  6. ^ "San Antonio native and East Central graduate, NaLyssa Smith, embraces larger role within the Baylor women's basketball team". KSAT. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Baylor's NaLyssa Smith wins Big 12 women's player of year; DiJonai Carrington top sixth player". ESPN. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  8. ^ "No. 2 Baylor survives No. 6 Michigan's upset bid in overtime to advance to Elite Eight". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Wade Trophy winner NaLyssa Smith of Baylor headlines 2021 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches' All-America team". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  10. ^ VanTryon, Matthew; Horner, Scott (April 11, 2022). "NaLyssa Smith: What to know about Indiana Fever's 'slept on' No. 2 overall pick". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  11. ^ "Egbo, Smith to Represent Baylor on USA Basketball U19 World Cup Team". Baylor University Athletics. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Versatile recruit NaLyssa Smith has been wowing fans for years". ESPN. Retrieved 26 April 2021.