Basketball legend dunks Olympics role

BIG NAMES -- Jimmy 'Jumpshot' Smith (second from left) with members of the Harlem Globetrotters
BIG NAMES -- Jimmy 'Jumpshot' Smith (second from left) with members of the Harlem Globetrotters
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A RESPECTED basketball coach who has promoted the sport in Hucknall for more than 30 years is to crown his career by working as a Games Marker at the upcoming London 2012 Olympics.

Basketball development officer Jimmy ‘Jumpshot’ Smith (57), pictured, will retire from Notts County Council after 31 years of championing his beloved sport.

But he has now been selected as a volunteer on the basketball court at both the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

“It is going to be an honour,” said the native of the USA. “I don’t yet know what duties I will have until later in the year.

“It caps a fantastic career for me promoting the sport in the UK. Approximately 130 schools play the game in some form here in Nottinghamshire. Some of my colleagues in other sports have been through the programme and many of the current players are second generation.”

In November 2011, Mini-Basketball England named their flagship character after Jimmy in honour of his career at County Hall. He has helped 60,000 young people across Nottinghamshire to play mini-basketball in local schools.

He came over to the UK from Baltimore in 1976 and played for Loughborough All Stars, who became Leicester All Stars and won the National League Division Two in the early 1980s before becoming the Leicester Riders.

Smith then got involved in coaching and enjoyed success in 1984 taking Nottingham Wildcats to Wembley.