January 5, 2007

Kim Smith Leaves The Gauchos

Jan. 5, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team will finish the 2006-07 season without the services of Kim Smith, head coach Mark French announced earlier this week. The sophomore guard decided to leave the team for personal reasons.

Smith, a native of Novato, Calif. will remain enrolled at UCSB and continue pursuing a major in communication. She appeared in 28 games while wearing the blue and gold and leaves with 19 career points on 6-of-17 shooting, 35.3%. Smith scored a career-best three points on two occasions as a freshman, with the first coming at Pac-10 power Stanford February 9, 2006, and the other during the Gauchos' match-up with Fresno State in the WNIT preliminary round March 16. She played a total of 29 minutes in eight games this season without a field goal attempt.

"Kim is a great, great kid who worked extremely hard for us both in practice and in game settings," French said. "Although she will remain close to the team while she is at UCSB, we absolutely wish her the best going forward."

Smith becomes the third player to leave the program this year after senior guard Erin O'Bryan and sophomore forward Shantel Thomas decided not to return for the 2006-07 season in October. The Gaucho coaching staff received more bad news in early November when they learned Kat Suderman would have to sit out the season to continue to recover from a spring knee surgery.

UCSB now has an active roster of just 10 players for Saturday's game against UC Irvine. Sophomore guard Sha'Rae Gibbons is out indefinitely with an injury to her right knee. S