Quest for perfection pushed Katie Smith into Naismith Hall of Fame

9

Katie Smith is one of the physically strongest women to ever have played basketball. The phrase “bruising point guard” fit her when she showed the versatility to take over that position.

So when she mentions all the things she did growing up in Ohio, such as ballet and tap dancing, they might not fit the “fierce competitor Katie Smith” image most have of her. But she brought the same mindset to those things, too.

“That was about following instructions and paying attention to details,” Smith said, citing two things she has always relished. “We competed in tap; it was about timing and being coached. When you look back, it all has the same makeup: trying to perfect something.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

When Smith is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, she’ll still be trying to get the instructions and details just right. That’s how she’s wired. When inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in June, she was the only one of the honorees to come in under the wire of the allotted speech time. Nobody else was close.9

She’ll nail that again in Springfield, Massachusetts, because that’s what Smith does.

“I am a little bit more of a rule-follower than some,” she says, chuckling. Yet the intriguing thing is that Smith also broke the so-called “rules” of what you could expect from a 5-foot-11 guard in the women’s game. She played point guard, shooting guard, wing and small forward professionally, and she guarded all five positions.

In 2001 in Minnesota, she led the WNBA in scoring at 23.1 PPG. By 2006 she became a point guard distributor for a championship squad in Detroit. All the while, she was one of the WNBA’s most reliable defenders.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“That was part of Katie’s longevity, her ability to do what was asked of her,” said Seattle’s Sue Bird, who played with and against Smith in the WNBA and was also her USA Basketball teammate. “Early in her career, she was a straight-up scorer, but she was always cerebral, understood what was happening around her and why it was happening. To see her play point guard wasn’t surprising.