Donease Smith
Donease  Smith

Director of Basketball Operations, Sixth Season


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Donease Smith joined the Memphis women's basketball staff as the Director of Basketball Operations in June of 2009. The former director of basketball of operations for the WNBA Detroit Shock, Smith takes care of both internal and external needs of the entire women's basketball team, including team travel, practice set up and inventory control.

"We're very fortunate to have someone like Donease join our program at the University of Memphis. Her national level collegiate experiences along with her WNBA experiences make her a good fit for our program," Melissa McFerrin said.

Smith spent the past two seasons with the Detroit Shock in the WNBA, serving as the basketball operations manager and as the manager of the Year Round Hoops program.

Prior to her WNBA stint, Smith had developed a long history of coaching and teaching basketball. Following her playing career (1995-1998) at Central Missouri State (now called the University of Central Missouri), Smith taught introductory business classes and served as an assistant girls' basketball coach for four years in Kansas City, Mo.

She then spent the 2000-2001 and the 2001-2002 seasons as an assistant coach for the Kansas City Legacy of the National Women's Basketball League (NWBL). There, she assisted in all phases of coaching and training, as well as assisting in team travel, scheduling and community outreach programs. She also served as an AAU coach for the Kansas City Chicks and as a USSSA coach for the Kansas City Blue during those two seasons.

Smith then joined the staff at Kansas State as the director of basketball operations. She spent one season at K-State before serving as a business instructor and assistant women's basketball coach at Moberly Area Community College. She left Moberly to join the three-time WNBA champion Detroit Shock in March of 2007.

Smith, a native of Sedalia, Mo., received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in business education from CMSU, earning honorable mention all-conference honors three times after transferring to the school after a freshman campaign at Southwest Missouri State. At CMSU, Smith averaged 10.9 points and 6.6 rebounds in her senior campaign.

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