Jim Smith

Year Inducted: 2001

Category: Players

Schools / Organizations: (Des Plaines) Maine West High School
Moberly Junior College
Northern Illinois University
NBA/ABA:  LA Lakers/Miama Floridians

Biography: At (Des Plaines) Maine West High School, Jim was a dominator in the low post at 6’ 7” and 225 lbs. A master of drop step, he was co-captain and MVP on back-to-back MSL Champions that did not lose a single game over the two seasons.  During his senior season, Jim was named All-MSL and All-State on 22-3 MWHS quintet (1964-65).   After high school, Jim was off to college, first to Mineral Area (MO) College and then to the University of Memphis before transferring to Northern Illinois University in time for the Huskies’ first season with university status (1967-68). Jim became the initial Huskie drafted by the pros– NBA (ninth-round by Los Angeles Lakers in 1969) and ABA (fifth-round by Miami Floridians in 1969). Jim was named to the NIU All-Century (2000-01) and All-Time Evans Field House (1996-97) units. Over two seasons, Jim posted 967 points, 689 rebounds, 45 double-figure scoring games, 43 twin-digit rebound outings, and 40 point-rebound “double doubles” in 48 career appearances (1967-69). During his senior year as a Huskie, Jim ranked No. 17 in NCAA rebounding (14.6 rpg.) after being No. 30 (14.1 rpg.) as junior. Jim finished his career rated among all-time NIU leaders in career rebounding (14.4 rpg.), career scoring (20.1 ppg.), and season rebounds (350 in 1968-69). He set the school season FTA record (234 in 1967-68). He was voted Outstanding Player at the All-Citrus Classic with career-high 37 points vs. host Pan American and 33 vs. Western Michigan (1968-69). Made NIU debut with 16 points and 14 rebounds vs. Indiana (12-3-67). He tallied 29 points and 16 rebounds vs. Rudy Tomjanovich and Michigan (12-30-67). Jim was a two-time team MVP and team captain as senior. Jim was inducted into the Maine West High Hall of Fame in 1984 and the NIU Hall of Fame in 1988.  After college, Jim played U. S. Army ball at Camp Lewis (1971).