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JSmithJohn Smith

John enrolled at Baker in the fall of 1987 following graduation from Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas, where he earned four letters in basketball and baseball. Once at Baker, he quickly asserted himself to be a major force for the Wildcat basketball squad on both ends of the court while playing for Coach Rick Weaver. In all, John earned four letters in basketball, but that was just the beginning of the honors that he would earn during his four-year career. Even as a freshman the greatness that was to unfold was apparent as his coach and teammates selected him the team’s Most Valuable Player — an honor that would follow the conclusion of each of his four seasons with the Wildcats.

During his sophomore year, in addition to being the team MVP he was named to the Heart of America Conference’s first-team all-conference squad, was the HAAC MVP, was a member of the NAIA District 10 first-team all-district team, was the district’s MVP and was named as an NAIA honorable mention All-American. During his junior year, John made first-team all-conference and the NAIA first-team All-District 10 team again. His senior year honors included being selected as a first-team All-HAAC Conference member, being named the conference’s MVP, being named to the NAIA District 10 first-team all-district team and once again being named to the NAIA honorable mention All-American team. During his career at Baker he scored a total of 2,460 points, a record that remained in place until broken in 1998. He continues to hold the record for the career scoring average of 20.5 points/per game. He also established a record for most points scored in a game with 46 against Ottawa University.

Not only was he a prolific scorer but he became the greatest rebounder in Wildcat basketball history, setting a record for rebounds in a season with 310 during the 1988-89 season and he remains the career rebounding leader with a total of 923. In addition to basketball, John was an active member on campus of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Following graduation with a Bachelor of Science in business finance, John played professionally in Europe for a team located in Linz, Austria, for one year. During that year of 1991-1992 he averaged 33 points per game and 12 rebounds per game.

Returning home to Kansas, John created two businesses that he continues to own and manage Riverhook Retail Group, a company dedicated to sales and marketing of home improvement products and K.C. Textile Company, a fabric distributor to the home furnishings industry. He is a member of the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park and is a member of the National Association of Retail Marketing and the Central Industrial District Association. He is married to Catherine and together they have two daughters, Sophia and Grace.

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