Kentucky State University alumnus joins Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame

Kentucky State University alumnus joins Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame

A notable Kentucky State University alumnus was recently selected to join the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame (KSHOF). 

Elmore Smith, member of the 1970 and 1971 NAIA championship men’s basketball teams, joined the KSHOF class of 2021.

Smith set a national record for rebounds in 1971 with 799 and averaged 22.3 points per game in his Kentucky State career. Smith was known as “The Rejector” for his skill at blocking shots and set a single-game record in the NBA with 17 blocks against the Portland Trail Blazers in 1973. The record still stands today. 

During his Kentucky State career, Smith was named first team NAIA all-American in his final year and was the third pick in the 1971 NBA Draft, drafted by the Buffalo Braves. Smith played eight seasons in the NBA, averaging 13.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game in his career. Smith was named to the NBA all-rookie team in 1971-72 and set a season record for blocked shots with 397 in 1973-74. Smith also blocked a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar skyhook during his career. 

Smith has developed Elmore Smith’s Gourmet BBQ sauces. Restaurants that bear his name can be found at the Cleveland Clinic and Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

The 2021 Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame inductees and their families will be honored on Sept. 7 at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. For ticket information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Julie Howell at or (502) 587-6742.