SPRINGFIELD, MA – Russ Smith, a six-foot guard from the University of Louisville, is the 2014 recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s outstanding senior, six-foot and under, who thrives in the classroom and on the basketball court.
Smith is a senior guard from Brooklyn, NY who is among the nation’s leaders in steals. He was recently named NABC All-American and is a Naismith Player of the Year finalist. Smith has earned a number of recognitions during his time with the Cardinals, including Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Midwest Regional and the 2012-13 Big East Conference Scholar-Athlete Sports Excellence Award for men’s basketball. Louisville head coach Rick Pitino nicknamed him “Russdiculous” for his excellent speed, ball-handling and aggressiveness on the court. Smith was on the Big East weekly honor roll six times as a junior alone.
“Russ Smith is completely deserving of this award, for his perseverance, athleticism and hard work both on and off the court,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is an honor for us to recognize Russ, an elite player in college basketball, with this prestigious award.”
Louisville has produced two Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winners in two years. Smith’s former Cardinal teammate Peyton Siva won the 2013 award and now plays in the NBA for the Detroit Pistons.
The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award is named in honor of James Naismith’s daughter-in-law. A panel of representatives from the National Association of Basketball Coaches selects the recipient. To earn the award, the recipient must demonstrate leadership, character, loyalty, all-around basketball ability and excellence in the classroom. In March, Baylor University’s Odyssey Sims received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award. She will be formally recognized during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 7, in the Omni Nashville Hotel’s Broadway Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Nashville.