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Derek Smith
Shooting guard
Born November 1, 1961(1961-11-01)
Hogansville, Georgia
Died August 9, 1996 (aged 34)
Atlantic Ocean
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 205 lb (93 kg)
College Louisville
Draft 35th overall, 1982
Golden State Warriors
Pro career 1982–1991
Former teams Golden State Warriors (1982–1983)
Los Angeles Clippers (1983–1986)
Sacramento Kings (1986–1989)
Philadelphia 76ers (1989–1990)
Boston Celtics (1991)

Derek Ervin Smith (November 1, 1961 – August 9, 1996) was an American NBA player. He was born in Hogansville, Georgia and attended the University of Louisville from 1979 to 1982. He was a member of the 1980 University of Louisville Cardinals basketball team which won the NCAA championship by defeating UCLA 59-54.

Smith is sometimes credited with popularizing the term "high five" during the 1979-80 basketball season.[1]

Smith was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 1982 NBA Draft. He played for the Los Angeles Clippers from 1983–1986. He played for the Sacramento Kings from 1986–1989, for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1989 and 1990, and the Boston Celtics in 1991. During his NBA career he scored over 5,000 points. After his playing career ended, Smith became an assistant coach for the then Washington Bullets.

Derek Smith died of an apparent heart attack while on a cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean, near Bermuda on August 9, 1996. He was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.

His son, Nolan Smith, currently plays for the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team.


  1. ^ Jack Welch (December 2000). "50 Things Every Louisvillian Should Know". Louisville Magazine. Retrieved 2009-12-16.  

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