LOGAN — Over the course of more than 30 years, it’s safe to say this publication has printed hundreds of thousands of words documenting the Hall of Fame basketball career of Logan’s own Katie Smith.
Today, on the eve of her induction into the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame — the highest honor a basketball player in this country can receive — we’re going to let photos do the talking.
We’ve compiled an array of pictures from various sources (including her mother, Barb) ranging back to her first organized basketball team in the mid-1980s through her stellar career with the Logan Lady Chiefs, Ohio State Buckeyes, American Basketball League, WNBA and USA Basketball.
The special pullout section, which begins on page B3, has photos and a list of the many, many accomplishments that ultimately have her in Springfield, Mass., for this weekend’s induction ceremonies.
The official ceremony will be held Friday night (7 p.m. start) and will be televised on NBA TV.
She will be presented by Dawn Staley, a fellow Olympic gold medalist who herself was inducted into basketball’s national shrine in 2013.
Katie played her first organized game of basketball Dec. 5, 1984, as a member of the Logan Bobcats (an otherwise all-male youth basketball team) in the old South Bloomingville Elementary School gym. Her playing career concluded nearly 30 years later — Sept. 15, 2013 — in a WNBA game in Washington, D.C.
What happened in between is the stuff that legends — Hall of Famers — are made of.
But enshrinement in Springfield is not the end of her basketball road. Smith recently completed her first season as head coach of the New York Liberty, who endured numerous injuries on their way to a 7-27 record.
She’s recently been getting all the post-playing career honors due to her. Earlier this summer, she was enshrined into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
As this reporter, who has followed her career from the very outset — I was her coach that December night in 1984 — said in a column this summer when she was named to the Women’s Basketball HOF, it all started and ended right here in Hocking County, Ohio, which can claim one of the fewer than 200 players (just 14 of them women) who are/will be members of our country’s national basketball shrine, our all-time greatest, as a native. When you think of what she’s done in that perspective, it’s absolutely staggering.
Please enjoy today’s photographic look back into her HOF career.