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Rik Smits – A Look at the Dutchman’s NBA Career

Rik Smits quickly established himself at Marist College as a prolific basketball player. Scouting reports came pouring in, and NBA coaches soon put him on their watch lists.

Smits was named to the Indiana Pacers All-Rookie first team during his rookie year and went on to be a player until 2000.

Early Life and Education

Rik Smits hails from Eindhoven, Netherlands. In 1984 he immigrated to the US and attended Marist College in upstate New York, before going on to be selected by Indiana Pacers with their second overall draft pick in 1988 (Danny Manning went first). Following an outstanding senior season Smits was recognized as a premier NBA prospect. Indiana Pacers selected him second overall.

Steve Stipanovich had initially served as Smits’ backup center during his rookie year; when his injury sidelined him from starting center duties, Smits took on all 71 games as starting center, averaging 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game and earning All-Rookie honors in the process.

Smits retired after 12 seasons with the Pacers in 2000 and currently spends his time with his wife Candice and son Derrik. To keep busy he plans to rebuild cars while serving as a basketball coach – possibly high school or collegiate post players.

Professional Career

Smits entered the NBA as a first round selection from Indiana Pacers in 1988 as a raw talent with immense promise, and during his rookie year averaged 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds while being named to all-rookie first team honors.

He continued his stellar play in the playoffs, helping the Pacers reach the Eastern Conference Finals where they ultimately fell to Patrick Ewing’s New York Knicks. By 1993-94 he had established himself as one of the premier centers in the league with an average 17.7 points per game average.

Smits was an integral member of the Pacers during their many championship seasons and after retirement in 2000 resided with his wife Candice and son Derek in Walton, New York where he collected Roadrunner memorabilia as an accomplished mechanic.

Achievement and Honors

Smits never quite got his due attention in an NBA dominated by players such as Shaq, Robinson, Olajuwon, and Mutombo; yet that doesn’t make him any less remarkable. However, that doesn’t imply he wasn’t good.

Smits made his NBA debut as a second round selection with the Pacers in 1988 and was initially intended as backup to Steve Stipanovich before suffering an early season injury, forcing Smits into starting 71 games and earning All-Rookie First Team honors.

Smits averaged 14.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game throughout his career with the Pacers, helping them capture back-to-back championships against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls during prime Michael Jordan’s run from 1998. Smits was also popular due to his quiet demeanor and shy smile – qualities which earned him many fans’ hearts.

Personal Life

Rik Smits is a 57-year-old Dutch center who spent his entire 13-year professional basketball career playing for Indiana Pacers of NBA. An All-Star in 2000 Finals and Netherlands National Basketball team member during 1986 and 1988 respectively.

Smits labored in relative obscurity as a college player before his size and skills caught the eye of NBA scouts who selected him second overall by Indiana Pacers in 1988 draft. Starting 71 games his rookie year averaging 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds, Smits became an NBA powerhouse.

Smits never became known for his extravagant showmanship on the basketball court; rather he quickly won fans with his quiet demeanor and shy smile. Nowadays he devotes most of his attention to his family life – particularly Derrik who stands 7-feet tall!

Net Worth

The Dunking Dutchman was an integral component of Indiana Pacers’ deep playoff runs during his career, endearing himself to fans through many memorable performances. He proved especially effective during 1995-96 season when Indiana won Eastern Conference finals by two points thanks to The Dunking Dutchman scoring key points like buzzer-beating slam dunk in Game 4.

Rik Smits Net Worth is estimated to be over $18 Million Dollars after his 13-year NBA career with Indiana Pacers, being selected out of Marist College as the second overall pick in 1988 NBA draft. Smits won two EuroLeague championships with Barcelona before signing a contract with Zalgiris Kaunas to play in Lithuania Basketball League (LKL). Smits has amassed an estimated total worth estimated to exceed this figure during his professional life.

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