Bev Smith to be Inducted Into Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame

July 6, 2001

EUGENE, Ore. - University of Oregon women's basketball coach Bev Smith will become the lone inductee this year for the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, announced Canada Basketball and the Naismith Foundation.

A Salmon Arm, B.C., native, Smith has served as the Canadian National Team women's coach since 1997. She began her appointment Monday as the Ducks' fifth women's basketball coach in school history.

'It's a very prestigious honor,' Smith said. 'It feels like I've been selected to another great team. There are a lot of important and historic people in the Hall of Fame who have made a big difference in Canada basketball.'

The 2001 induction ceremonies will be at Almonte, Ontario, the birthplace of basketball founder James Naismith, on Oct. 13.

'Bev Smith was the Canadian women's team's Larry Bird,' former national women's team coach Don McCrae said on the Canada Basketball website. 'She was able to do all things on the court. If there were extended statistics kept, Bev would have been in the top three in all categories, such as taking the charge, tips and interceptions, as well as scoring, rebounding and assists.'

Smith, 41, led Canada to a 10th-place finish at the 2000 Olympics at Sydney, in addition to leading the Canadian National Team to its best finish at the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg in 1999 with a silver medal. On an international level, she has coached and played in the Italian league for 15 years. She coached the Familia Schio Club team to second-place national finishes in Division I in 1999-00 and 1998-99. In 1996-97, Smith led Vivo Vicenzo to a first-place finish in Division II. She also served as the head coach at the University of British Columbia in 1988-89. Her first coaching stint came in 1985 as a player-coach for Ferrara in the Italian league.

She led the Oregon women's basketball program through its most successful era at that time, with the Ducks accumulating a 93-19 record, as well as a pair of AIAW and one NCAA national tournament appearances.

In her four-year Oregon career from 1978-82, Smith established school records for points scored in a single game (38), season (632) and career (2,063), one-game (26), season (376) and career rebounds (1,362), career assists (443), as well as single game (11), season (95) and career steals (349). The school's second-leading scorer and top rebounder of all time still holds no fewer than eight school records. A three-time Northwest Basketball League (NWBL) player of the year, Smith remains the Ducks' only woman to garner first-team Kodak All-America honors (1981 and 1982).

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