JERUSALEM, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Israeli basketball Super League club Hapoel Beer Sheva has signed former NBA player Russ Smith, who also played in China, the Israeli club announced on Friday.
The 31-year-old American point guard played college basketball at the University of Louisville, with whom he won the 2013 NCAA championship, then was selected in the 2014 NBA draft with the 47th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers.
His NBA career, which lasted until late 2015, included a total of 27 regular season games in Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans, averaging 4.9 minutes, 2 points, and 0.7 assists per game.
After a short period in the Turkish club Galatasaray, Smith in 2017 began his career in China, joining second-tier league NBL club Luoyang Zhonghe, where he scored 81 points in the 142-130 win over the Henan Golden Elephants.
He was crowned NBL's player of the year, and then joined the Sturgeons of top-flight CBA. In his first season with the team in 2017-2018, he averaged 33.6 points and 6.9 assists in 33.8 minutes per game.
Smith spent two more seasons in China, playing for the Sturgeons and the CBA's Sichuan Blue Whales, as well as the NBL's Guizhou White Tigers.
"A scorer like Smith doesn't land in Israel every day," said Hapoel Beer Sheva's General Manager Tomer Yaron. "He is a very talented and experienced player." ■