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
Personal information
Born (1964-01-30) January 30, 1964 (age 56)
Jacksonville, Florida
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolNathan Bedford Forrest
(Jacksonville, Florida)
CollegeJacksonville (1982–1986)
NBA draft1986 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41st overall
Selected by the Denver Nuggets
Playing career1986–1997
PositionShooting guard / Small forward
Number22, 18, 32
Coaching career2014–present
Career history
As player:
19861987Denver Nuggets
19871989Golden State Warriors
19891992Orlando Magic
1996–1997Solna Vikings
As coach:
2014–2016Grand Rapids Drive
2017–2018Detroit Pistons (assistant)
Career NBA statistics
Points3,951 (10.5 ppg)
Rebounds1,416 (3.8 rpg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Otis Fitzgerald Smith (born January 30, 1964) is a retired American professional basketball player. He played college basketball for Jacksonville.

Early years[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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]Otis Smith was Head Coach of Grand Rapids Drive for two years, while currently employed in a dual role of Assistant Coach/Head of Player Development with Detroit Pistons.

Coaching career[edit]

On September 3, 2014, Smith was named the head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League, where he remained for two years.[4] Otis Smith is now in a dual role with Detroit Pistons as assistant coach and head of player development.

Civic work[edit]

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. Otis F. Smith Sr. donated and contributed involvement to the Grand Rapids Community with under privileged children through organizations including Safe-Haven, Family Promise of Grand Rapids & GRCS Public Schools.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 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]


  1. ^ Basketball-Reference.com: Otis Smith/player
  2. ^ "Florida Times-Union: October 10, 2006-Q&A: Otis Smith: Magic's GM ready for next step". Archived from the original on August 12, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  3. ^ Van Gundy Relieved of Duties; Smith and Magic Mutually Agree To Part Ways
  4. ^ Detroit Pistons Name Otis Smith as Head Coach of the Grand Rapids Drive
  5. ^ Florida Times-Union: Feb 22, 2002-Jacksonville Journal

External links[edit]