Katie Smith: Go-To Player

by Dan Bell

The all-time leading scorer in U.S. women's professional basketball history, Katie Smith reached 4,000 in her career in Thursday's win against Connecticut.
Jeff Reinking, WNBAE/Getty Images
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Four-time All-Star
Three-time All-WNBA
4,000 career points
4,000 points wallpaper
Second-fastest to 2,500 points
7/1/02: All-time scoring record
Smith's 2001 record collection
Katie answers your questions
While the Lynx have numerous players who can take over a game, the player most likely to assume that role is still Katie Smith. The 29-year-old guard has been the Lynx' best player since the team's inception in 1999.

While Smith can score in a number of ways, it's often her long-range shooting that does the most damage. No one in the history of U.S. women's professional basketball has drained as many three-pointers as Smith. On June 27, in a 67-57 win over the Phoenix Mercury, Smith notched her 500th career three-point field goal. (She recorded 183 three-pointers while playing with the Columbus Quest of the American Basketball League from 1996-97 through 1998-99.)

In a recent win over the Washington Mystics, it was Smith who jump-started the Lynx to victory as she hit on her first six shots from the field and scored 14 points in the first eight minutes to help the Lynx build a 22-10 lead. Smith finished with 19 points in the game.

"That's Katie � she gets us going offensively and defensively," Lynx head coach Suzie McConnell Serio said.

Earlier this season, in a win over Seattle on June 14, Smith tied WNBA records with seven three-pointers in a game and five three-pointers in the first half. She finished with 32 points in that game to give her nine 30+ games in her WNBA career, second-most in league history behind Cynthia Cooper's 16.

As of July 8, Smith was leading the league in three-pointers made (41) and was third in the league in scoring (18.8 ppg). Smith is also being more efficient with her shooting than in past years and is on pace to establish personal bests in field goal and three-point shooting percentages.

The Lynx pride themselves on being a balanced team on offense and defense � and they are. But even the most balanced of teams has a go-to player. On the Lynx, that player is Katie Smith.

This story appeared in the July 8, 2003 edition of Lynx Tonight.