Michael Smith Athlete Profile

#4 Michael Smith

Michael Smith
Position: Forward Height: 6-10 Weight: 225 Roster Years: 1983-1984 | 1986-1989 Hometown: Hacienda Heights, CA Mission: Argentina Hall of Fame: 1998

1998 Hall of Fame Inductee

Uncanny Michael Smith proved he could score in a variety of ways on the BYU basketball court.

Passing the ball to himself off the backboard to get a better shot, English-spinning reverse layups, dunking, and making left-handed hook shots were all just part of his repertoire. Three-point records, no-look passes, superb free-throw shooting, and an occasional triple-double were all part of Smith's arsenal.

In 1989 the 6-10 forward from Hacienda Heights, California, was the number-one draft pick of the storied Boston Celtics.

The year before he wasn't a number one - he was the only one. Just one player is selected as the GTE Academic All-American of the Year, and Michael was presented the award at the Final Four in Kansas City after he earned a 3.67 GPA in Spanish.

The NCAA post-graduate scholar won three Academic All-America awards and was named First Team All-WAC three times. Smitty was also selected as a Second Team All-American by United Press International and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. The Associated Press and Basketball Weekly named him to their third teams, and he received honorable mention All-America honors from the Sporting News and the World Almanac.

In 1988 Smith was both the WAC and the USBWA District VII Player of the Year. As a sophomore, just after serving an LDS Church mission to Argentina, he was MVP of the Cable Car Classic. (Even while on his mission, Mike proved to be an MVP of sorts for the Church back home. His explanation of why he was willing to interrupt his promising basketball career to serve the Lord for two years was read in five Catholic masses in California!)

At BYU the flamboyant forward, who played with a flat-top haircut and his draw strings untucked, set BYU career records in rebounds (922), games played (122), free-throw percentage (.878), three-point percentage (.430), three-point field goals made (116), and three-point field goals attempted (270). He scored 2,319 career points as a Cougar, second only to Danny Ainge in BYU history.

One of Smith's best performances was a triple-double (20-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist) game against Colorado State. Twice during the 1987-88 season he scored 39 points (against LaSalle and Utah State) as he led Coach Ladell Andersen's team on a meteoric rise to a number-two national ranking and a 17-0 record before a loss at Alabama-Birmingham. During his final three seasons, he was BYU's leading scorer and rebounder.

Michael played three years in the NBA, first with the Celtics and then with the Los Angeles Clippers, and five years in Europe, leading the Spanish League twice in scoring. He also played with Magic Johnson's touring team.

Personal

  • Born 5/19/65 in Rochester, New York
  • Served an LDS church mission to Argentina

Career Highlights

  • Finished his career with 2319 points, second on BYUs all-time scoring list behind Danny Ainge
  • Was an accurate marksman from the field, behind the arc or from the free throw line
  • Shot .507 from the field, .430 from three-point range, and .878 from the free throw line
  • His .878 free throw percentage is first all-time at BYU
  • Grabbed 922 rebounds in his career, the most by any Cougar
  • Named first team All-WAC and GTE Academic All-America three times
  • Second all time in field goals made and field goals attempted (886 for 1749)
  • Drafted in the first round by the Boston Celtics

Before BYU

  • Lettered in football, basketball and volleyball
  • As a freshman was MVP of frosh hoop and grid teams
  • As a sophomore was JV grid MVP and second-team all-league, league MVP, first team all-CIF, first team Times All-Valley, first team Tribune All-Valley, Arroyo Tourney MVP and Covina Tourney MVP in basketball Was first team all-league in volleyball as a junior
  • Led Los Altos High team to a perfect 14-0 record and won numerous awards for football his senior year, including first team all-CIF and All-America citations from Adidas and Street and Smith
  • Set CIF single-season football passing records for yardage (3,347), attempts (382), completions (252) and a single-game record for TDs (8)
  • Quarterbacked in California Shrine All-Star Game in July 83
  • Awards during and after senior hoop season include first-team all-league, league MVP, first team Times All-Valley, Tribune San Gabriel Valley Player-of-the-Year, Covina Tourney MVP, Las Vegas Invitational All-America team, Street and Smith All-America, McDonalds first team All-America, Parade All-America, Basketball Weekly All-America
  • Was MVP of LaSerna tourney (volleyball)
  • Voted student body president
  • Received District Scholar awards four consecutive years
  • Honored as Colgate Poll Washington touchdown Club Outstanding High School National Athlete of the Year
  • Named CIF male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
  • Team was 63-18 during three varsity campaigns
  • Coached by Bill Rockwood (LaVerne)

After BYU

  • Played three years in the NBA, first with the Celtics and then with the Los Angeles Clippers
  • Played five years in Europe
  • Also played with Magic Johnson's touring team

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • Led the Spanish League in scoring
  • Inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1998

Stats

Year    G-GS  FGM-FGA   FG%   3PM-3PA  3P%   FTM-FTA  FT%   R-AVE    P-AVE
83-84   29    99-218    .454  -------  ---   34-45    .756  153-5.3  232-8.0
86-87   32    253-497   .509  34-70    .486  103-114  .904  273-8.5  643-20.1
87-88   30    229-452   .507  44-102   .431  127-151  .841  224-7.5  679-21.0
88-89   29    286-545   .525  33-87    .379  160-173  .925  248-8.6  765-26.4
Totals  120   886-1749  .507  111-259  .428  424-483  .878  922-7.7  2319-19.3

1983-1984 | Freshman Year

  • Was leading rebounder in three of the first four games
  • High rebounding games of 13 came against Hofstra and San Diego State
  • High scoring game of 20, including last-second shot helped Cougars defeat Oregon
  • Hit four clutch free-throws for BYU in the closing minutes of the 88-77 win over Virginia Commonwealth
  • Bothered by tonsillitis toward the end of the season
  • Missed Wyoming and Air Force games because of tonsillitis
  • Finished season with 45% field goal shooting percentage and 76% free-throw shooting
  • Third on the team in scoring third in rebounding and third in assists

1986-1987 | Sophomore Year

  • Unanimous All-WAC selection
  • First team GTE Academic All-America, first-team All District VII (USBWA and NABC), WAC player of the week (Dec. 16-20) and MVP of the Cable Car Classic
  • BYUs leading scorer and rebounder
  • His 643 season points is fourth best single season output in BYU history at the time
  • In WAC games led league in scoring
  • Scored in double figures in 29 of BYUs 32 games
  • Scored over 20 points 17 times
  • Had high of 34 points three times
  • Had 18 rebounds vs. San Diego State and 15 in tournament game vs. New Orleans
  • One of the nations best free throw shooters (90%)
  • Scored more points than any other sophomore in BYU history
  • Led WAC in three point shooting percentage

1987-1988 | Junior Year

  • Second team All-America (USBWA)
  • District 7 Player of the Year (USBWA)
  • First team GTE Academic All America for second year
  • Unanimous first team All-WAC for second year
  • WAC leading scorer (21.3, all games) for second year
  • Academic All-WAC for second year ... All-District 13 (NABC)
  • All-Cougar Classic ... second in WAC in 3-point shooting (47.4), third in free throw percentage (84.6), sixth in rebounds (7.4)
  • Led team in scoring in 16 games and rebounding in 15 games
  • Had career high 39 points against Utah State and La Salle
  • Grabbed 14 rebounds in 95-82 win over La Salle

1988-1989 | Senior Year

  • Named All-WAC first team and GTE Academic All-America for third straight year
  • Scored 765 points with a 26.4 scoring average
  • Shot .925 from the free throw line and .525 from the field
  • Scored over 30 points 11 times with a high of 35 against San Diego State
  • Averaged 8.6 rebounds for the season
  • High rebound game 16 against Air Force