Wee Willie Smith
April 22, 1911|
|Died||March 15, 1992
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||230 lb (104 kg)|
|High school||East Tech (Cleveland, Ohio)|
|1931–1942||New York Renaissance|
|1943–1944||Cleveland Chase Brassmen|
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. 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.
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