Buckeye and Olympian Katie Smith to speak at Ohio State autumn commencement
Basketball star to give address on Dec. 18
The Ohio State University
Katie Smith, former Ohio State women’s basketball player, Olympian and WNBA coach, will be the speaker at The Ohio State University’s autumn commencement.
The ceremony will be held on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center, with approximately 3,600 diplomas issued.
“Olympian. WNBA champion and coach. Big Ten champion. Record-breaking Buckeye. Katie Smith knows what it takes to win, and she is dedicated to teaching others how to do it – both on and off the court,” said President Kristina M. Johnson. “Smith’s message of how perseverance, dedication, and hard work breeds success in all aspects of life – be they in the gym, the boardroom, or any other arena – is one I believe will be invaluable for our graduates, their friends and family, and our entire campus community. We couldn’t be more excited that she will be speaking at autumn commencement. I am looking forward to hearing from her and to welcoming her back to campus.”
Smith was a forward on Ohio State’s women’s basketball team from 1993-1996. She broke the Big Ten’s scoring record, for both men and women, and was named Big Ten Conference Player twice. The university retired her number, 30, after she graduated. She completed her bachelor’s in 2008 and also earned a master’s at Ohio State in 2014.
Smith spent 15 years playing in the WNBA. She was a seven-time All-Star, won two WNBA Championships and was named to the league’s W25, the top-25 players in its 25-year history. She is also a three-time Olympian, winning gold medals with the USA national team in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
After retiring from play, Smith coached the WNBA’s New York Liberty before joining the Minnesota Lynx’s coaching staff in 2020. She was named associate head coach in 2022. She has been inducted into both the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.