Otis Smith (basketball)

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Otis Smith
Otis Smith at the Air Canada Centre 2008.jpg
Smith at the Air Canada Centre in April 2008
No. 69 – Grand Rapids Drive
Position Head coach
League NBA Development League
Personal information
Born (1964-01-30) January 30, 1964 (age 54)
Jacksonville, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school Nathan Bedford Forrest
(Jacksonville, Florida)
College Jacksonville (1982–1986)
NBA draft 1986 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41st overall
Selected by the Denver Nuggets
Playing career 1986–1997
Position Shooting guard / Small forward
Number 22, 18, 32
Coaching career 2014–20
Career history
As player:
19861987 Denver Nuggets
1987–1989 Golden State Warriors
19891992 Orlando Magic
1996–1997 Solna Vikings (Sweden)
As coach:
2014–present Grand Rapids Drive (D-League)
Career NBA statistics
Points 3,951 (10.5 ppg)
Rebounds 1,416 (3.8 rpg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Otis Fitzgerald Smith (born January 30, 1964) is a retired American professional basketball player and former general manager of the NBA's Orlando Magic. He is currently the head coach for the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League.

Early years

Smith was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and was a star athlete at Forrest High School, graduating in 1982.


Smith played at Jacksonville University (JU) from 1982–1986 and earned a degree in marketing and management. He became the only player in school history to tally more than 1,700 points and 900 rebounds in his collegiate career. In 1986, he was named the Sun Belt Men's Basketball Tournament MVP. His jersey was retired at Jacksonville University in 2002.

Professional career

Smith was taken with the 17th pick in the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft out of Jacksonville University by the Denver Nuggets. He played one full season and part of a second with the Nuggets before being traded to the Golden State Warriors during the 1987-88 season. He played the remainder of that season and the 1988-89 season with the Warriors. He participated in the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where he finished 4th overall, and also in the 1991 contest, where he finished in 7th place.

Otis Smith became a member of the Orlando Magic on June 15, 1989 as one of the 12 players selected in the 1989 NBA Expansion Draft. He was on the roster for the team's inaugural game in the 1989-90 season, and he played there through the 1991-92 season. He posted career highs of 13.9 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game in 1991 with the Magic. Smith retired with a knee injury after his sixth season, playing in 375 games, with career averages of 10.5 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, and 1.8 assists per game.[1]

After taking a hiatus for three years, Smith came out of player retirement in October, 1996 to sign with the Solna Vikings in the Sweden Professional League. He was named MVP of Swedish League in 1997, but decided to leave on a high note and not play a second year.

After playing

Smith became Director of Community Relations for the Orlando Magic from 1996–1998, then was Vice President of Marketing & Community Relations for Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida for a year from 1998 to 1999. However, he missed basketball, and joined the Golden State Warriors Foundation as Executive Director of Community Relations from 1999 to August 2002. During the 2002-2003 season, he worked as Executive Director of Basketball Operations for Golden State. Returning to Florida, he spent two years as Director of Player Development for the Magic, then was promoted to Co-General Manager for 2005-2006 season. He was named General Manager of the Orlando Magic on May 3, 2006.[2] He agreed to step down from his job as the General Manager of the Orlando Magic on May 21, 2012.[3]

Coaching career

On September 3, 2014, Smith was named the head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League.[4]

Civic work

Otis Smith became involved with Volunteers for Youth, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America when he was in college. In 1989, he founded the Otis F. Smith Foundation (later renamed, the Otis Smith Kids Foundation) which started out conducting free basketball clinics, but grew to include free summer day camps, tutoring, field trips, and health screenings.

Awards and honors

  • Given the key to the city of Jacksonville by Mayor Tommy Hazouri in 1988
  • In June 1993, he was one of 50 people in the US to receive the FBI Directors Award for community service.
  • Official Torch Bearer of the Olympic Flame for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta (one of 13,267)
  • Received the 1996 WTLV-TV 12 Who Care Council's Choice Award
  • Received Humanitarian of the Year award from Jacksonville University on February 22, 2002[5]


External links