Known for his exceptional quickness, blazing speed, and deadeye pull-up jumpers, Kenny Smith was named the Basketball Times National Player of the Year in 1987. That same year, Smith was a consensus All-America and first-team All-ACC choice, leading the Tar Heels in scoring with 16.9 points per game. He also led in assists with 209. Kenny was named second-team All-ACC as a sophomore and a junior. One of only 10 freshmen under coach Dean Smith to start the first game of his career, he had 86 assists in NCAA Tournament play, which was the most in that event’s history at the time. In 127 games as a collegian, he averaged 12.9 points per game and 6.0 assists while running Carolina’s offense to masterful perfection from his point guard spot. Smith led UNC to undefeated ACC marks in both 1984 and 1987, and he poured in a career-high 41 points during the 1987 season in a 108-99 comeback win at Clemson. Smith finished his career as Carolina’s all- time assist leader with 768, breaking the record of Tar Heel legend Phil Ford.
Smith’s total of 195 steals was a Carolina record at the end of his college career, and it still ranks fourth. His game-high 23 points against the Soviet Union in the championship game of the FIBA World Championships propelled the U.S. team to a gold medal victory in 1986. Smith won the Patterson Medal, the highest athletic award at Carolina, as the top senior athlete in 1987. After playing his first three years with the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks, Smith played five seasons with the Houston Rockets and was the starting point guard for the 1994 and 1995 world championship teams.
When he’s not working as a television analyst for the Turner Sports Network, Kenny uses his experience and expertise to teach fundamental basketball skills to young campers at his top-rated summer basketball camp in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Kenny was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame Sept. 21, 2000.