(born December 5, 1985 in College Park
) is an American professional basketball
player with the Atlanta Hawks
of the NBA
. Josh is one of five kids born to Paulette and Pete Smith. His siblings are Walter, Phebe, Kasola and Shanti. His popular nickname is "J-Smoove".
Smith attended John McEachern High School
. For his senior year, Smith transferred to Oak Hill Academy
. As a player for Oak Hill's basketball team, he first earned his reputation as a consummate shot-blocker, which he would maintain in the NBA. He played alongside former Atlanta Hawk teammate Randolph Morris
and the Orlando Magic
's Dwight Howard
on the highly regarded Atlanta Celtics AAU team in the summer of 2003.
Smith was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 17th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft
Having entered the league straight out of high school, Smith has publicly disagreed with the rule change that prohibited high school players from entering the NBA Entry Draft.
He won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest
during his rookie year in the 2005 NBA All-Star Weekend. He averaged 9.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.95 blocks per game for the 2004–05 season
and was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. For the 2005–06 season
, Smith averaged 2.25 blocks per game, ranking seventh in the NBA.
After the NBA All-Star Weekend, he continued his steady development. He... Read More