Kenny Smith – The Journey of “the Jet” from NBA Stardom to Versatile Success
Kenny Smith, affectionately known as “the Jet,” is a name synonymous with basketball excellence and versatile success. Let’s delve into the life and career of this iconic American sports commentator and retired NBA player.
From his early days in Queens, New York, to his foray into broadcasting and beyond, Kenny Smith’s story is one of determination, adaptability, and achievement.
Kenny Smith Biography
Kenny Smith, the former NBA player and now a sports commentator, hails from Queens, New York City. His roots trace back to the Caribbean, with both of his parents, Kenny Smith Sr. and Annie Mae Smith, originating from there. Kenny Smith proudly holds American nationality, and he belongs to the African-American ethnicity.
Early Life and Early Career
As of October 2023, Kenny Smith is 58 years old, and his legacy continues to inspire both on and off the basketball court. Kenny’s basketball journey had humble beginnings in the vibrant neighborhood of Queens, New York.
He honed his skills at New York’s Riverside Church and Stephen A. Halsey Junior High School, setting the stage for his remarkable future in the sport.
High School Glory
Continuing his ascent, Smith attended Archbishop Molloy High School, where he was coached by the legendary Jack Curran. It was here that he earned the prestigious title of McDonald’s All-American in 1983, showcasing his exceptional talent and potential.
College Days at UNC
Smith’s college basketball adventure unfolded at the University of North Carolina, where he played under the guidance of the esteemed Dean Smith. This period of his life further honed his skills and prepared him for the challenges of the NBA.
Influence of Bobby Lewis
One cannot discuss Kenny Smith’s journey without acknowledging the significant influence of Bobby Lewis, a former South Carolina State star. Smith attributed much of his success to Lewis, who helped shape his shooting and ball-handling abilities.
Lewis’s Basketball Skills Development Program became an integral part of Smith’s training regimen, a tradition he carries forward by incorporating Lewis’s drills into his basketball camps.
Transition to Broadcasting
Post-retirement, Kenny Smith seamlessly transitioned into a successful career as a basketball commentator. Joining Turner Sports in 1998, he became a studio analyst for NBA regular seasons and playoffs.
Notably, he co-hosted Inside the NBA on TNT alongside Ernie Johnson Jr., Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal, a show that has earned the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Studio Show.
Beyond NBA coverage, Smith extended his expertise to the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, contributing as an analyst for CBS/Turner.
He also provided commentary for the MSG Network’s broadcasts of New York Knicks games from 2005 to 2008. His work in broadcasting elevated his public profile, making him a household name.
Kenny Smith’s involvement in various basketball events continued, with highlights such as winning the Shooting Stars Competition during the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend.
In August 2020, he left the set of Inside the NBA as a gesture of solidarity with teams boycotting games in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Venturing into Acting
Beyond basketball and broadcasting, Smith ventured into acting, playing the role of Leon Rich in the 2022 movie “Hustle,” alongside Adam Sandler and Juancho Hernangómez.
As of 2022, Kenny Smith was not known to be married. However, he has been married twice in the past. His second wife was Gwendolyn Osborne, a well-known actress and former model.
They married in 2006 but divorced in 2018. Osborne has carved her own path in entrepreneurship, podcasting, music, and philanthropy.
Kenny Smith’s Children
Kenny Smith is a proud father of four children, two from his first marriage and two from his second marriage. Additionally, he is a stepfather to the daughter of his second wife, Gwendolyn Osborne.
Kenny Smith’s journey from the basketball courts of Queens to the spotlight of NBA broadcasting and the silver screen is a testament to his enduring talent and adaptability.
His contributions to the world of basketball and entertainment are matched only by his dedication to family and community.
“The Jet” remains an iconic figure in the realm of sports and beyond, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of fans worldwide.
Please note that the information provided in this article is based on the available information on the internet and may be subject to change or further updated. You can also check out the full Wikipedia biography and net worth of Prince Mateen.
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