Nolan Smith

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For the masters athlete and jazz musician born Nolan Smith, see Nolan Shaheed.
Nolan Smith
Nolan Smith 2011 - FEB 13 - Miami Hurricanes at Duke Blue Devils 1.jpg
Smith playing for Duke in February 2011
No. 22 – Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul
Position Shooting guard / Point guard
League Turkish Basketball League
Personal information
Born (1988-07-25) July 25, 1988 (age 26)
Louisville, Kentucky
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school Oak Hill Academy
(Mouth of Wilson, Virginia)
College Duke (2007–2011)
NBA draft 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21st overall
Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers
Pro career 2011–present
Career history
20112013 Portland Trail Blazers
2013 Idaho Stampede
2013–2014 Cedevita Zagreb
2014–present Galatasaray Liv Hospital
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Nolan Derek Smith (born July 25, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for Galatasaray Liv Hospital of the Turkish Basketball League. He was selected with the 21st pick in the 2011 NBA Draft after four years at Duke University.[1][2] As a senior, he was named a first team AP All-American and the ACC Player of the Year. As a junior, he started at shooting guard for Duke's national champion 2010 team.

Early life[edit]

He frequently attended Washington Bullets practices after his father, then-former NBA player, Derek Smith, took their assistant coach position in 1994. Bullets players made him a frequent guest at their home games following his father's sudden death, two years later.

High school career[edit]

In high school, he played for St. John's College High School during his freshman year, and then played at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. At Oak Hill, he played alongside several future NBA players, including Michael Beasley, Ty Lawson, and Brandon Jennings. Smith earned McDonald's All-America honors as a high school senior in 2007.

College career[edit]

Beginning his sophomore year, he was named the starter at point guard for the Blue Devils, effectively making three-year starter (and team tri-captain) Greg Paulus a reserve. Jon Scheyer later took over at point, and Smith moved to shooting guard.


March 28, 2010, Smith scored a career-high 29 points in an Elite Eight NCAA game, as Duke beat Baylor and advanced to the Final Four.[3] In that game, Smith (628 points), Jon Scheyer (690 points), and Kyle Singler (667 points) became the second trio in Duke history to each score at least 600 points in a season; in 2001–02, Jay Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. first accomplished that feat for Duke.[4]

Through the 2009–10 season, he was 14th on Duke's all-time list in free-throw percentage (.789).[5] For the 2009–10 season, he was 5th in the ACC in scoring (17.4 points per game) and minutes (35.5 per game), and 7th in field goal percentage (.441).[6]


Smith averaged 20.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game during his senior season, leading Duke to a 32-5 record and a third consecutive ACC championship.[7] Smith was named as the ACC POY, 1st Team All-ACC, and was also named to the All-American first team. Fans voted Smith The 2011 Premier Player of College Basketball over Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Jimmer Fredette (BYU), Harrison Barnes (North Carolina) and teammate Kyle Singler. He was picked to the First Team All-America by Fox Sports.[8] He was among the final ten candidates for the Bob Cousy Award.[9]

2007–08 Duke 34 4 14.7 .467 .386 .769 1.5 1.3 0.5 0.1 5.9
2008–09 Duke 34 6 21.6 .426 .346 .849 2.2 1.7 0.9 0.1 8.4
2009–10 Duke 38 38 35.5 .441 .392 .767 2.8 3.0 1.2 0.2 17.4
2010–11 Duke 37 37 34.0 .458 .350 .813 4.5 5.1 1.2 0.1 20.6
Career 143 85 26.8 .447 .368 .800 2.7 2.8 0.8 0.1 13.3


Professional career[edit]

Smith was chosen in the first round (21st overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.

In 2012, Smith played in the NBA Summer League for the Trail Blazers. On July 17, 2012, in a game against Houston Rockets, Smith was injured. He had to be carried away with a stretcher and the game was terminated with 42.9 seconds left to play.

On January 6, 2013, Smith was assigned to the Idaho Stampede.[10] He was recalled on January 9, 2013.[11] He received an honorable mention at the 2013 NBA D-League Showcase.[12]

He joined the Boston Celtics for the 2013 Orlando Summer League.[13] On August 18, 2013, he signed a one-year deal with Cedevita Zagreb.[14]

On August 29, 2014, Smith signed a one-year deal with the Turkish team Galatasaray Liv Hospital.[15]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

2011–12 Portland 44 4 12.3 .372 .289 .714 1.3 1.4 .4 .1 3.8
2012–13 Portland 40 0 7.2 .368 .214 .714 .7 .9 .2 .0 2.8
Career 84 4 9.9 .371 .260 .714 1.0 1.2 .3 .0 3.3


Smith is the son of the late Derek Smith, a former swingman of nine-year NBA and University of Louisville fame.[16] The Derek was a starting forward on Louisville's 1980 NCAA championship team. He also played for the Cardinals in the 1982 Final Four. He was a second-round draft choice of the Golden State Warriors in 1982 and went on to play for the San Diego and Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics before retiring in 1991. His career ended prematurely due to knee problems.

Smith's father died when he was eight years old, of a heart attack at age 34 while they were on a cruise ship near Bermuda.[17] Nolan said: "I thought he was going to sleep. I saw him from far away when it happened. I got closer, and I saw them close his eyes."[17]

Smith has a tattoo on his right arm, with his father's likeness and the words: "Forever Watching."[18] He said: "When I take the court, I look down at my tattoo. ... I know he's always with me, every game."[18]

He was named after Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. His mother, Monica, has a law degree from Louisville. Nolan grew up with Michael Beasley and remains friends with him.[19] Nolan wears size 18 basketball shoes.[20] Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is said to have taken notice of Smith's feet when Nolan attended a Duke summer basketball camp as a youngster. "The kid was little, but they all assumed he'd grow, maybe to Derek's size," wrote Tom Friend in an ESPN piece.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nolan Smith  #2  G. "Nolan Smith Stats, News, Photos – Duke Blue Devils – ESPN". Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ Ryan Fagan (March 7, 2010). "Duke's Nolan Smith: 'Our big guys have definitely gotten better' – Ryan Fagan – College Basketball". Sporting News. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ "NCAA: Final Four Set; Madness Resumes Saturday – ABC News". Retrieved March 29, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Notes: Duke 78, Baylor 71 – Duke University Blue Devils | Official Athletics Site". Retrieved March 29, 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Official On-Line Home Of Duke Statistics". July 25, 1988. Retrieved March 29, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Atlantic Coast Conference Official Athletic Site – Men's Basketball". Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b ESPN Profile
  8. ^ Goodman, Jeff (Mar 7, 2011). "Goodman's 2010-11 All-America teams". Fox Sports (Fox Sports Interactive Media). Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  9. ^ "BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES FINAL TEN CANDIDATES FOR 2011 BOB COUSY AWARD" (PDF). Bob Cousy Award. February 7, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  11. ^ Trail Blazers recall Nolan Smith and Will Barton from D-League
  12. ^ "Three Mad Ants Earn 2013 Showcase Honors". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 14, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  13. ^ A quick look at the Celtics' Summer League roster
  14. ^ "Nolan Smith agreed terms with Cedevita". Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Galatasaray brings aboard point guard Smith". August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Nolan Smith keeps the memory of his father close – Men's College Basketball – ESPN". January 16, 2008. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "The legacy: Duke guard Nolan Smith – Matt Hayes, Sporting News – College Basketball". Sporting News. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  18. ^ a b "Duke G Smith hopes to honor dad with NCAA titl – | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information – Parkersburg News and Sentinel". Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Nolan Smith keeps the memory of his father close". ESPN. ESPN. January 16, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Nolan Smith profile, 2006 Oak Hill Academy Roster". 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Lessons from my Father". ESPN. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 

External links[edit]