Wee Willie Smith

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Willie Smith
Personal information
Born (1911-04-22)April 22, 1911
Montgomery, Alabama
Died March 15, 1992(1992-03-15) (aged 80)
Cleveland, Ohio
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school East Tech (Cleveland, Ohio)
Playing career 1931–1949
Position Center
Career history
1931–1942 New York Renaissance
1943–1944 Cleveland Chase Brassmen
1948–1949 Dayton Rens

William T. "Wee Willie" Smith (April 22, 1911 – March 14, 1992) was an American professional basketball player.

The 6'5" Smith was one of the first great African American basketball players. He played for several semi-professional leagues in the Cleveland, Ohio area before being signed by the New York Renaissance, an all-black professional team, in 1932. From 1932 to 1936, Smith and his six teammates won over 400 games, including an 88-game winning streak from January 1, 1933 to March 27, 1933. The entire 1932–33 Renaissance team was collectively inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1963. Smith played for several other professional teams, including the Cleveland Chase Brassmen of the National Basketball League. He was one of the few black players in the history of the NBL.[1] After basketball, he worked as a custodian in the Cleveland Public Schools and operated a beverage shop. He was inducted into the Harlem Hall of Fame and the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.[2]


  1. ^ Ron Thomas. They Cleared the Lane. Hoopshype. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  2. ^ Wee Willie Smith at Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Retrieved 16 August 2007.

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