NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont women's basketball alumna and three-time OVC champion Kylee Smith has inked a deal with the Liffey Celtics of the Irish Women's Super League. Smith will join forces with former teammate Darby Maggard in Kildare, Ireland as a part of her third professional contract.
"It is so exciting to come to a team and culture that is already creating something," said Smith. "The team was only allowed two imports, so it is awesome that I will have not only another import, but a best friend."
Liffey finished atop the Super League last season with a 16-2 record to claim the regular season title and lifted the National Women's Cup trophy to end the 2018-19 season. The Celtics capped last season off as the league leader in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
"Darby is not just a former teammate, she is one of my closest friends," Smith said. "The chance that we get to play basketball together again is surreal. It won't sink in for me until we are both on the court together for practice."
During their time as teammates, Smith and Maggard combined for a total of 3,551 points and 584 3-pointers made. The duo helped the Bruins to three consecutive OVC Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances.
Smith most recently played professionally in the South Australia Premier League with the Sturt Sabres. She averaged a double-double of 18.2 points and 10.6 rebounds for the Sabres, who reached the Grand Final last season.
"I had such an awesome experience with my team and it was the first time that it felt like Belmont again," said Smith. "I really found a family in Sturt."
The Alpharetta, Ga. native rounded out her career at Belmont with the third-most points in program history in the NCAA Division I era. Smith also finished with the fifth-most career assists (352) and sixth-most 3-pointers made (224) in program history.
"I will expect to bring my positivity, leadership and competitiveness to the team," Smith said. "I already have two seasons of professional basketball under my belt, so I feel like that veteran experience can help."
Three Belmont women's basketball players under head coach Bart Brooks' system have signed professional basketball contracts: Maggard, Smith and Sierra Jones.
"Belmont has prepared me for this in so many ways, not only as a basketball player, but as a woman," Smith said. "There is a reason why I came back to visit campus when I only had three days in the United States. I wanted to come see the people that helped build me into the person and player I am today."