Donta Smith


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1983 (35 years old)

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Louisville, Kentucky


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Donta Lamont Smith (born November 27, 1983) is an American-Venezuelan professional basketball player who currently plays for Hapoel Jerusalem B.C. of the Israeli Basketball Super League.

Smith played his high school ball at Oldham County High School (Buckner, KY), where he was a standout forward on the high school team and record-setting wide receiver on the football team. He also played on the Kentucky (high school) All-Stars in their annual two-game series against the Indiana All-Stars. After two years of junior college basketball at Southeastern Illinois College, Smith was rated as one of the top JUCO prospects and committed to play ball for Rick Pitino at the University of Louisville. But he backed out of the commitment and entered the 2004 NBA Draft instead.

Smith was taken by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2004 NBA Draft after playing college basketball at Southeastern Illinois College and averaged 3.3 points per game for the Hawks during his two-season stint. On December 2, 2005, the Hawks assigned Smith to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Arkansas RimRockers.

In January 2007, Smith signed a one-month contract with Bulgarian champions Academic Sofia, which could possibly be extended to five months. On December 24, 2008, Smith signed with the South Dragons of the Australian National Basketball League. He had previously been with the Chinese Basketball Association's Shanxi Zhongyu but was waived to make roster space available for Bonzi Wells.

In 2009, Smith went on to win the 2009 NBL championship with the South Dragons, and was named Finals MVP after starring for the team in the 5-game series. After one season with the South Dragons, Smith would return to the Shanxi Zhongyu for the 2009–10 season. In December 2010 he signed with the Liaoning Dinosaurs.

In 2011, Smith signed with Fuerza Regia in Mexico. He later played for the Indios de Mayaguez of Puerto Rico, and Maccabi Haifa B.C. of Israel.

Smith led Haifa to its first Israeli League title ever during the 2012-13 season, his first with his team, along with teammate Gal Mekel. In the following season, 2013–14, Smith was awarded the Israeli Basketball League's Most Valuable Player Award, after leading Haifa to the finals for the second time in a row. Haifa, however, could not win the title again, after losing the finals to Euroleague superpower Maccabi Tel Aviv.

In August 2013, Smith was naturalized as a Venezuelan to participate with the country's national basketball team. In 2014 he was chosen as an MVP of the Israeli AllStar match.

In June 2014, after two successful seasons with Haifa, Smith signed a three-year contact with Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem.

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