Leon Smith was a three-time letter winner in both basketball and baseball during his time at Carleton. A basketball captain his junior and senior seasons, Smith was named to the five-player All-Midwest Conference First Team for the 1972–73 and 1973–74 campaigns. At the time he graduated, Smith ranked fourth in recorded team history with 1,088 career points over his three seasons. His scoring average of 19.4 points over 56 career games and 467 career field goals still rank ninth in the team record book, 45 years after his graduation. Freshmen were ineligible to play varsity NCAA basketball his first year on campus, but Smith had an instant impact upon being inserted into the lineup as a sophomore. Showcasing his versatility, he played center and was second on the squad with a 14.5 scoring average. Smith shifted to forward the following season and was the conference’s second-leading scorer at 19.1 points per game. His senior year brought another position change — this time he was asked to play guard, and he responded spectacularly by averaging 25.2 points in 17 games, the second-highest scoring average in recorded team history. On the diamond, Smith earned a spot in the starting rotation as a freshman and was selected to the All-Midwest Conference First Team in both 1971 and 1972. Considered to be the ace of the pitching staff, Smith often drew the toughest assignments for the Knights, even taking on D-II opponents.
After graduating from Carleton with an economics major, Smith lived in California with his wife, Jessica Pearman ’74. The College was sad to learn recently that Smith passed away several years ago.