Randy Smith

Buffalo State College and NBA Basketball Player

A native of Bellport, Long Island, Randy Smith represented the first of the now defunct Buffalo Braves of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to be inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

As a high-school athlete downstate, Smith was far better known for his soccer talents than anything else. He played basketball and competed in track and field (able to clear 6’10” in the high jump), but it was soccer that landed the highly touted young athlete at Buffalo State College, where he would become an All-American in the sport.

It became very clear in college, however, that basketball was his calling. Smith led his Buffalo State squad to three straight conference championships, including a fourth place finish in the 1970 NCAA College Division Tournament. A seventh-round draft pick of the Buffalo Braves in 1971, Smith would soon become an adopted son of the Queen City. He played for seven years for the Braves until the franchise was shifted to the San Diego Clippers in 1978. Smith is Buffalo’s all-time leader in games (568) and minutes (20,018) played.

From 1972-1982, Smith played in every regular season game: 82 a year for a total of 820, one of the longest streaks in NBA history. In 1979, Smith was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played for two years before being traded to the New York Knicks. He spent the 1981 season there, before moving back to the San Diego Clippers for another season the following year. Smith retired from professional basketball in 1983.

Among the many highlights of Smith’s sparkling career was being named the Most Valuable Player of the 1978 All-Star Game in Atlanta. In his 12-year career in the NBA, Smith tallied 26,262 points in 976 games for an average of 16.7 points, firmly establishing himself as one of the great guards of the game and a worthy inductee to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.