From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Smith, Elmore "The Big E"

(born: 1949) Elmore Smith was born in Macon, GA, and was a graduate of Ballard-Hudson High School, where he also played basketball. As a college player, he was the seven foot center for the Kentucky State University (K-State) men's basketball team. Elmore Smith is listed among the top rebounders in college basketball. He was a member of the 1970 and 1971 NAIA Championship teams at K-State, coached by Lucias Mitchell. He holds the NAIA record for most rebounds in a season (799 rebounds in 1971), and tops the NCAA All-Division list. He left for the NBA his senior year in 1971 and played professional basketball until 1979. He went to the Buffalo Braves [now Los Angeles Clippers] as the 3rd pick in the first round of the 1971 NBA Draft. In his first season, Smith averaged 17.3 points per game and 15.2 rebounds per game; he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. Smith's rebounding record is 8th among NBA rookies. He holds the NBA record for most individual blocked shots in a game (17). Elmore Smith ended his basketball career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2008, he was inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was inducted into the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame. After his basketball career, Smith went into the Barb-Q Sauce business. For more Elmore Smith in Basketball Biographies by M. Taragano. This entry was submitted by Lacy L. Rice Jr.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Mitchell, Lucias T.
NKAA Source: Basketball biographies: 434 U.S. players, coaches, and contributors to the game, 1891-1990

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Smith, Elmore "The Big E",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 2, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-05-08 21:51:34