Nebraska MBB: Smith Signs Pro Contact; Is Drafted 1st in PBL Draft

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Smith Signs Pro Contact; Is Drafted 1st in PBL Draft

Lincoln – Former Husker Leslee Smith became the second Husker to sign a professional contract this offseason, as he signed to play with La Salle in Bolivia. La Salle plays in the Liga Sudamericana and the season runs from late September until December.

Smith received more good news Wednesday evening, as he was the No. 1 overall pick by the Kentucky Mavericks of the Premier Basketball League Draft. The franchise moved from Shreveport-Bossier to Owensboro, Ky., in the offseason to join the PBL. The 2016 season begins in January.

We are overjoyed to be selecting Leslee," said Mavericks Head Coach Steve Tucker. "He is a talent that is under the radar and someone who has a bright future in this game. His injuries have caused him some problems in the past, but he is injury free and ready to go for this season. The people of Owensboro will be seeing a premier talent this winter when Leslee takes the floor."

Smith made a recovery from off-season knee surgery to play in Nebraska’s final 17 games in 2014-15. Smith averaged 3.1 points and 3.1 rebounds a game while averaging 12.6 minutes per game. Smith moved into the starting lineup down the stretch and averaged 3.2 points and 4.5 rebounds a game over NU’s final six games.

He had two of his best rebounding efforts in the final three games of the season, grabbing a season-high nine rebounds and scoring eight points in 32 minutes at Illinois before closing his career with eight rebounds in 14 minutes against Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.

As a junior, Smith played in all 32 games, averaging 5.4 points on a team-high 52 percent shooting and 4.8 rebounds per game. He was second among all Big Ten players in rebounds per game, and totaled a team-high three double-doubles on the year.

A two-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll, Smith earned his degree in sociology earlier this month, becoming the fifth Husker basketball senior in the class of 2015 to graduate.

Smith becomes the third Husker player from last year’s team to sign a professional contract, joining Terran Petteway, who is in training camp with the Atlanta Hawks, and David Rivers, who signed to play in Germany.