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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mike Smrek
Mike Smrek in 2007.jpg
Mike Smrek in 2007 at a high school graduation ceremony
Personal information
Born (1962-08-31) 31 August 1962 (age 57)
Welland, Ontario
NationalityCanadian
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High schoolEastdale (Welland, Ontario)
CollegeCanisius (1981–1985)
NBA draft1985 / Round: 2 / Pick: 25th overall
Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers
Playing career1985–1997
PositionCentre
Number52, 55, 11
Career history
1985–1986Chicago Bulls
19861988Los Angeles Lakers
1988–1989San Antonio Spurs
1989–1990Fulgor Libertas Forlì
1990Golden State Warriors
1990–1991Los Angeles Clippers
1992Golden State Warriors
1992–1993Dafni
1996–1997KK Split
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Michael Frank Smrek (born 31 August 1962) is a Canadian former professional basketball player. He was selected in the second round of the 1985 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, and played seven seasons in the league as a backup 7-foot-0-inch (2.13 m) centre. He won two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Early life

Smrek graduated from Eastdale High School in Welland, having grown up in Port Robinson, Ontario, a nearby rural farming community. He worked on his family farm and had little time for organized sports. He did not start playing basketball until Grade 11 after being prodded by the high school coach to try out. "He was a nice guy, so I didn't want to hurt his feelings," Smrek said.[1]

College career

At Canisius College, Smrek averaged 9.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 0.8 assists in 23 minutes a contest over four years. He is the college's second leading career shot-blocking with 172 (compatriot Michael Meeks is first with 183). He also had the two best seasons for field-goal percentage in school history with a .632 FGP in 1983-84 and a .601 FGP in 1984-85.

Professional career

Smrek was a back-up centre, appearing in 194 games over seven seasons. He averaged 9.7 minutes, 2.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks a contest during this time. Drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the first pick in the second round of the 1985 NBA Draft out of Canisius College, he played as rookie with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls,[1] appearing in 38 games and averaged around his career totals.

The NBA defending-champion Boston Celtics were interested in signing Smrek, but he chose the Los Angeles Lakers instead. He figured the Lakers provided him the best opportunity for a regular role in the NBA, as their starting centre, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was approaching age 40. Smrek played sparingly in his two seasons with the Lakers, but earned NBA championship rings in 1987 and 1988. The first title was against the rival Celtics in six games.[1] He then had a year with the San Antonio Spurs, parts of three seasons with the Golden State Warriors and a brief stint with the Los Angeles Clippers.[2] He has also played for the Toronto Raptors in the 1996 preseason (but not in regular season games).

He played in Italy for Fulgor Libertas Forlì (1989–90), in the Greek League for Dafni BC (1992–93) and in Croatia for KK Split (1996–97).[3]

Later years

Smrek became a teacher at Saint Paul High School in Niagara Falls, Ontario, near his hometown of Port Robinson.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Grange, Michael (4 June 2008). "Canadian recalls his part in Lakers-Celtics rivalry". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  2. ^ Smrek NBA career statistics
  3. ^ Eurobasket page on Smrek


This page was last edited on 20 December 2019, at 05:53
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