Tommy Riles and Art Eddy run the gamut on a bunch of topics — from the news at the the Walt Disney D23 Expo weekend with all the new movies, to Tom’s house going back to the Jurassic Period, to the Life of Dad Fantasy Football League. Then the guys chat with NBA great, Steve Smith.
Steve Smith takes a lot of pride in being from Michigan. His parents are Donald and the late Clara Bell Smith taught Steve a lot through their words and actions. Steve saw the many sacrifices and acts of kindness not only in his family, but to others in his community. Being a witness to all of that made Steve want pay it forward.
Steve did that by creating the Steve Smith Charitable Fund. This fund was established to honor those who helped support him in achieving his goals. From his family, friends, teachers, coaches and community he made sure to give back. These people continue to inspire Steve and compel him to give back to the community. The charitable fund began as a benefit to those students from Steve‘s alma mater, Detroit’s Pershing High School, who wished to attend Michigan State University. The charity has since grown to meet broader needs in the communities that have supported Steve throughout his life.
Steve attended Pershing High School in Detroit and then Michigan State University from 1987-1991, where he became a First Team All American basketball player, and the Spartans’ all-time leading scorer, with 2,263 points. At that time, he ranked 5th all-time in Big Ten history, and was also First Team All-Big Ten in his senior season.
In 1991, Steve was selected in the first round of the NBA draft by the Miami Heat. He also has played with the Atlanta Hawks (1994-1999), the Portland Trail Blazers (1999-2001), the San Antonio Spurs (2001-2003), the New Orleans Hornets (2003-2004), and the Charlotte Bobcats and Miami Heat during the 2004-2005 season.
Steve was also a member of the gold medal winning Dream Team II during the 1994 FIBA Word Championships in Toronto. In 2000, Steve was honored by being chosen to represent his country by playing for the gold medal winning U.S. Olympic Basketball team in Sydney, Australia.
On September 30, 2005, Steve returned to MSU to announce his retirement from the NBA after 14 seasons. In 2009, Steve earned the Dick Enberg award, which recognized him for his commitment to promoting the values of education and academics to student-athletes. On February 18, 2013, Steve was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
Now Steve Smith works as a game and studio analyst for NBA TV and the Big Ten Network. We had the great pleasure of talking with Steve about his time in the NBA, the Steve Smith Charitable Fund, and fatherhood.