Friday, July 22, 2011

WNBA: Focus on the Seattle Storm’s Katie Smith

Katie Smith is new to the Seattle Storm this year, as she was obtained in a trading deal involving the Washington Mystics just before the beginning of the 2011 season. Smith is a veteran player who is one of the WNBA's leading scorers, with almost 6,000 points scored in her career so far.

By K.C. Dermody

July 20, 2011

Here is a look at the highlights of Katie Smith's career.

Early life

Katie Smith grew up in southeast Ohio in the city of Logan. She was surrounded by a family of athletes, and her father John, Sr. played football for Ohio State University. Her brother John played on the Mount Union College national championship football team in 1993, and brother Tom ran track and also played football at Ohio State.

Katie got her start in basketball playing on the boys' team in fifth grade. As a young girl, she was also involved in ballet and tap dance. She was a very busy child, also competing in track and soccer, and was involved in 4H showing her sheep and steers at the local county fair.

In high school, she gave up most of her other activities to concentrate on basketball. During her senior year at Logan High School she won the Gatorade Player of the Year.

College years

In 1992, Katie began her college education at Ohio State University, majoring in Zoology. Her freshman year, she helped the Buckeyes get to the NCAA championship. That year, she was named to the All-American first team and was named Sports Illustrated's National Freshman of the Year, and received numerous other awards during her college career.

After her final season with Ohio State, she became the leading scorer in Big-Ten women's basketball history.
She is currently ranked second, after Jantel Lavender, who broke her scoring record earlier this year.

Professional career

Smith began her career with the ABL team, the Columbus Quest, shortly after college graduation. In 1999, she signed with the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx.

Smith has been named to the All-Star team seven times in her WNBA career, and in 2005, she became the first woman to score 5,000 points in professional basketball. She played with the Lynx through 2005, and then signed on with the Detroit Shock. She became the first woman in basketball to be named to both the Western and Eastern Conference All-Star teams.

In early 2010, Smith went to the Washington Mystics as a free agent, and it was the spring of 2011 when she joined Seattle Storm.

It sounds like Katie has made the beautiful Pacific Northwest her true home, as she says the movie "Goonies", filmed in Cannon Beach and Astoria, Oregon, is her favorite film.

When asked to choose from hiking and camping, the beach, or visiting a museum, Katie answered, "Hiking and camping out. I'm a little pale and don't tan very well. Sitting on a beach wouldn't go well. I'd have to put a lot of sunscreen on. Hiking and camping is something I enjoy because it's active."

I do think she must be a Seattle girl at heart.

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