It’s been a while since Reggie Miller and the Pacers were driving stakes into the hearts of Knicks fans.
It’s also been a while, nearly 12 years, since that 7-foot-4 Dutchman suited up for Indiana.
Whether one’s allegiance lies with the Knicks, Pacers, or even the Buffalo Braves, it’s impossible to not remember Rik Smits.
First of all, not many players stand that tall, not to mention, not that many players are that tall and talented.
The “Dunking Dutchman” was both.
Smits played 867 regular season games, all with Indy, over his 11-year NBA career and averaged a robust 14.8 points per contest. You may have known he was an NBA All-Star, but did you know he is also a former two-time NEC Player of the Year.
Smits during his days at Marist
Smits attended Marist, a NEC member from the league’s inception in 1981 until 1997, from 1984 to 1988. He won the 1985 NEC Newcomer of the Year award on the way to an illustrious collegiate career that would feature 1,945 points, two NEC Tournament titles, and three all-NEC first team selections.
The highest draft pick in NEC history went to the Indiana Pacers with the No. 2 overall selection in the 1988 NBA Entry Draft.
But what is he doing now?
Yahoo! Sports recently caught up with Smits and featured him in the following story by Jim Weber – Rik Smits finds a home away from hoops … on a dirt bike?
Article Excerpt (Yahoo! Sports)
“… Eleven years removed from his final NBA game, his nickname might need to be updated to “The Dirt-Biking Dutchman”; because these days you will find Smits competing in motocross races while still living in the Indianapolis area. …”
Smits may be able to add the tag line Hall of Famer to his name in the near future. The 45-year old is a finalist for the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame with members of the second-ever class being named later this winter.
If Overtime! had a Hall of Fame vote, Smits’ candidacy is what we would call a SLAM DUNK!