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Otis Smith
OtisFSmith.PNG
shooting guard
small forward
Born January 30, 1964 (1964-01-30) (age 45)
Jacksonville, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
High school Forrest (Jacksonville)
College Jacksonville University
Draft 41st overall, 1986
Denver Nuggets
Pro career 1986–1992
Former teams Denver Nuggets (1986–1988)
Golden State Warriors (1987–1989)
Orlando Magic (1989–1992)

Otis Fitzgerald Smith (born January 30, 1964) is a retired American professional basketball player and current general manager of the NBA's Orlando Magic. It was with the Magic that he posted his best statistics as an NBA player, averaging in double digits in points for most of his time there.

Contents

Early years

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

College

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.

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. Sadly, 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]

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 & 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[3]

References

External links

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