Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rik Smits 224 cm tall athlete

Tall athletes --Netherlands Netherlands
Rik Smits 224 cm. 2.24 m (7 ft 4 in) Tallest Dutch basketball player. Rik Smits (born August 23, 1966 in Eindhoven, Netherlands) is a retired Dutch professional basketball player who spent his entire professional career with the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association. The 7'4" (2.24 m) center was drafted by the Pacers out of Marist College with the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft. The Dutch-born player was nicknamed "The Dunkin' Dutchman". The 9th tall athlete in the world.

Smits originally backed up Steve Stipanovich, but when Stipanovich suffered a terrible injury that ended his career, Smits ended up starting 71 games in his rookie year, averaging 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game and earning All-Rookie First Team honors. Smits continued to average double-digit point totals in every year of his career, but it wasn't until 1993-1994 that Smits really came into his own as a team leader.

Throughout the Pacers' playoff runs in the mid- and late-1990s, Smits was considered the number two player, behind Reggie Miller, on the deeply talented Pacers team. Smits' highest point-per-game average was in 1995–96 when he averaged 18.5 points per game, relatively modest by NBA "superstar" standards, but the Dutchman endeared himself to Pacers fans with outstanding playoff performances.
Smits was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 1998, delivering 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, including a spectacular behind-the-back pass to New Jersey Nets forward Jayson Williams who followed immediately with a slam dunk.
Foot problems hobbled Smits for the majority of his career, and he retired at the conclusion of the Pacers' 1999–2000 season, after Indiana was defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals 4 games to 2.

See also