Basketball Wiki
Nolan Smith

KK Cedvita
Position Point guard
Personal information
Born July 25, 1988 (1988-07-25) (age 35)
Louisville, Kentucky
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight 185 lbs (84 kg)
Career information
High school Oak Hill Academy
(Mouth of Wilson, Virginia)
College Duke (2007-2011)
NBA Draft 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21st
Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers
Pro career 2011-present (13 years)
Career history
2011-2013 Portland Trail Blazers
2013-present KK Cedevita (Croatia)
Career highlights and awards
  • NCAA champion (2010)

Nolan Derek Smith is an American point guard who plays for KK Cedevita in Croatia. Smith played college basketball at Duke. His junior year, he helped Duke to win the national championship. Smith was drafted 21st overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.


Smith is the son of the late Derek Smith, a former swingman of nine-year NBA and University of Louisville fame.[4] Derek Smith was a starting forward on Louisville's 1980 NCAA championship team. He also played for the Cardinals in the 1982 Final Four. He was a second-round draft choice of the Golden State Warriors in 1982 and went on to play for the San Diego and Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics before retiring in 1991. His career ended prematurely due to knee problems. Derek battled Michael Jordan in a famous 1984 game at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, outscoring Jordan 33-20, and throwing down a huge dunk over him that is still famous on YouTube.

His father died when he was eight years old, of a heart attack at age 34 while they were on a cruise ship near Bermuda.[5] Nolan said: "I thought he was going to sleep. I saw him from far away when it happened. I got closer, and I saw them close his eyes."[5]

Smith has a tattoo on his right arm, with his father's likeness and the words: "Forever Watching."[6] He said: "When I take the court, I look down at my tattoo. ... I know he's always with me, every game."[6]

Early life[]

He frequently attended Washington Bullets practices after his father, Derek, took their assistant coach position in 1994. Bullets players made him a frequent guest at their home games following his father's death.

In high school, he played for St. John's College High School during his freshman year, and then played at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. At Oak Hill, he played alongside several future stars, including current Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley. Smith earned McDonald's All-America honors as a high school senior in 2007.


Beginning his sophomore year, he was named the starter at point guard for the Blue Devils, effectively making three-year starter (and team tri-captain) Greg Paulus a reserve. Jon Scheyer later took over at point, and Smith moved to shooting guard.


March 28, 2010, Smith scored a career-high 29 points in an Elite Eight NCAA game, as Duke beat Baylor and advanced to the Final Four.[7] In that game, Smith (628 points), Jon Scheyer (690 points), and Kyle Singler (667 points) became the second trio in Duke history to each score at least 600 points in a season; in 2001–02, Jay Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. first accomplished that feat for Duke.[8]

Through the 2009–10 season, he was 14th on Duke's all-time list in free-throw percentage (.789).[9] For the 2009–10 season, he was 5th in the ACC in scoring (17.4 points per game) and minutes (35.5 per game), and 7th in field goal percentage (.441).[10]


Smith began his senior campaign by reeling off four straight games of at least 22 points. During the four-game run, Smith shot 66% (34-51) from the field and 71% (10-14) from behind the arc. [11]For the 2010-2011 season, Nolan Smith, is averaging 21.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in 34.2 minutes per game for the Blue Devils. [12]

He is rated as the number two shooting guard by


He has been tabbed by ESPN and many sportswriters as a potential first round selection in the 2011 NBA draft. [1]


He was named after Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. His mother, Monica, has a law degree from Louisville. Nolan grew up with Michael Beasley and remains best friends with him.[13]