EuroCup standouts: Jamar Smith

May 05, 2020 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
EuroCup standouts: Jamar Smith

This season has been the finest in the spectacular career of UNICS Kazan guard Jamar Smith and that's saying something considering he is a former EuroCup champion and one of the best shooters in competition history. Perhaps familiarity has done the trick for Smith, who turned 33 last month and is in his third season with the club. He is averaging career-highs in scoring (15.2 ppg.), two-point accuracy (51.9%), three-point accuracy (52.8%) and assists (3.7 apg.) while helping UNICS win its Top 16 group and secure homecourt advantage for the quarterfinals. To put those numbers in perspective, he ranks eighth in the EuroCup in scoring this season and only one player has ever made more three-pointers at a higher accuracy rate than Smith's current rate. That was Henry Domercant who was 52 for 91 (57.1%) playing for Dynamo Moscow back in the 2007-08 season.

Smith ranks third on the all-time EuroCup charts with 206 three-pointers for his career, which is 1 shy of Marko Popovic for second place on the all-time charts. He is also within striking distance of the all-time leader, Rafa Martinez (223). Smith has done so while shooting 44.0% on three-pointers for his career, compared to Popovic's 39.1% and Martinez's 41.1%. In fact, only two players among the top 20 in career triples made can boast a higher than Smith: Kyle Kuric at 46.8% and Demond Mallet at 44.8%. After joining the EuroCup 1,000point scorers club this season, he has risen to 15th in that category with 1,042 career points.

The road to EuroCup stardom was a long one for Smith, who started his European career with relatively small clubs. He debuted with Prostejov in the Czech Republic in 2011 and spent the next season in Israel with Galil Gilboa before Brose Bamberg signed him for the 2013-14 campaign. Smith averaged 12.5 points in 10 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games for Bamberg, which did not advance past the regular season and was drawn into the EuroCup Last 32 stage. Fin ally on the European map, Smith helped Limoges win the French championship the following season before joining Unicaja Malaga for two years. He was a key cog in taking that team to the 2017 EuroCup crown and then signed with UNICS, where he has been peppering the nets ever since.