BUFFALO, NY – Former University at Buffalo women's basketball great JoAnna Smith has inked her second professional contract with the Canik Belediyespor Samsun club in Turkey. Smith is the second UB player to sign a professional contract since head coach Felisha Legette-Jack took over the program in 2012, joining former teammate Christa Baccas.
Smith will be one of four American born players on the roster joining Tan White (Mississippi State '05), Avery Warley (Liberty '12) and Eshaya Murphy (USC '07). Murphy was also a second round pick of the Minnesota Lynx in the 2007 WNBA Draft.
The lethal scorer turned into one of the best players in the MAC over her final two seasons as well as growing into a team leader for the youthful Buffalo squad. Smith closed out her senior season earning All-MAC recognition for the second straight season as she was named Second Team All-MAC after averaging a team-best 17.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.0 assist. The senior was the catalyst for the Bulls offense all season long as she scored in double figures 27 times this season while going over the 20-point plateau 12 times and the 30-point plateau twice. Smith was able to connect on 89 three pointers, fourth most in a single season in program history. She had her best season as a Bull on the defensive end of the court as she was able to snag a career-best 54 steals.
The Southaven, MS native put together an impressive career for the Bulls as she collected the most wins (78) by any UB player since the Bulls joined the MAC in 1998-99. Smith wrapped up her Buffalo career with 1,395 career points, ranking sixth in program history. The sharpshooter closed out her UB career ranked third in program history in three pointers made (208) and seventh in field goals made (494). Playing in 121 career games, third most in program history, Smith ranked 12th in program history in free throw percentage as she converted on 72.4% of her career free throw attempts.
Smith began her professional career in Portugal as she helped lead Uniao Sportiva to a perfect record before deciding to sign in Turkey. Canik Belediyespor currently owns a 7-9 record and they compete in the top women's professional league in Turkey, the KBSL. The KBSL features multiple WNBA players including Kelsey Plum, Shavonte Zellous and Aerial Powers.
Smith and Canik Belediyespor Samsun continue their season on February 4 as they take on Hatay. Smith's team has 10 games remaining in the regular season before playoffs begin in April.