Smokey Gaines

  (Redirected from David Gaines (basketball))

David "Smokey" Gaines (February 27, 1940[a] – September 5, 2020) was an American basketball player and coach. He played professionally for three games for the Kentucky Colonels during the 1967-68 American Basketball Association season after a four-year stint with the Harlem Globetrotters. Gaines attended LeMoyne-Owen College from 1959 to 1963 where he was the first player to have his number retired.[3][4]

Smokey Gaines
Personal information
Born(1940-02-27)February 27, 1940
DiedSeptember 5, 2020(2020-09-05) (aged 80)
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight170 lb (77 kg)
Career information
High schoolNortheastern (Detroit, Michigan)
CollegeLeMoyne–Owen (1959–1963)
NBA draft1963 / Undrafted
PositionShooting guard
Career history
As player:
1967Kentucky Colonels
As coach:
1973–1977Detroit Mercy (assistant)
1977–1979Detroit Mercy
1979–1987San Diego State
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

  • WAC Coach of the Year (1985)
Stats at

After his playing days Gaines became a men's college basketball coach, serving as head coach for the Detroit Mercy and San Diego State Aztecs. He replaced Dick Vitale at the former school, and coached Michael Cage and future Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn at the latter. He compiled a 112–117 record in eight seasons at San Diego State University (SDSU) and became the first black head coach in NCAA Division I in California. He was named the coach of the year of the Western Athletic Conference in 1984–85, when the Aztecs went 24–8 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.[5] Gaines was named athletic director for the Memphis City Schools in 2008, after coaching and serving as the athletic director at LeMoyne-Owen.[6]

Gaines died on September 5, 2020 from cancer.[7]


  1. ^ Sources conflict on Gaines' birth year. His obituary has 1942[1] but a post by his family uses 1940.[2]


  1. ^ Crowther, Linnea (September 8, 2020). "David Gaines obituary". Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  2. ^ Zeigler, Mark (September 5, 2020). "Former Aztecs basketball coach Smokey Gaines dies". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  3. ^ Davis, Terry (September 10, 2020). "At every level, David 'Smokey' Gaines made an impact". Tri-State Defender. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  4. ^ "Legends". Harlem Globetrotters. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  5. ^ Zeigler, Mark (September 5, 2020). "Smokey Gaines, first Black Division I basketball coach in California, dies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  6. ^ McClure, Jesse F. (July 30, 2008). "New Memphis City Schools A.D. says 'It's all about the kids'". Tri-State Defender. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012.
  7. ^ McCarty, Andrew (September 5, 2020). "Former College Basketball Coach Has Passed Away". Retrieved September 5, 2020.

External linksEdit