Michigan basketball’s Mike Smith to seek after NBA career

Graduate exchanges commonly only spend one season at their last school. Mike Smith will be the same.

Smith, who showed up at Michigan a year ago as a graduate transfer from Columbia and began every one of the 28 games at point guard this previous season, declared on Wednesday he is seeking after a NBA career.

That was no certainty since this season didn’t represent a count against a player’s qualification limit, opening the door for seniors to return one year from now.

Smith will not be taking advantage.

“Next stop for me is the NBA Draft,” Smith wrote in a social media post.

The 5-foot-11 Burr Ridge, Illinois, native averaged nine points and 5.3 assists per game last year. He shot 41% from 3. He led the Big Ten in assists, adjusting splendidly to a facilitator role after four seasons at Columbia in which he set up tremendous scoring numbers.

In Smith’s post, he said thanks to God, the University of Michigan, his coaches, partners, companions, and family.

“All my life I dreamed of playing in the NBA, but I have always been the underdog!” he wrote. “I have always been told I was too small or that I wasn’t good enough to play at the next level. I never listened to them and I still don’t.

“No matter what anybody said, I kept working and betting on myself. I believe that we all have our own paths in life. So it’s only right to continue to bet on myself and take that path and follow my dreams of playing in the NBA.”

Michigan has four different seniors from this past season’s roster. One, beginning shooting guard Eli Brooks, played some point guard. Rising sophomore Zeb Jackson saw restricted time in the backcourt. Michigan acquires point guard Frankie Collins, ranked No. 51 overall in the 2021 class.

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