Honors & Awards
- Academic All-Big Ten (2015)
- British Virgin Islands National Team (2014)
- Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2014, 2015)
- Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Spring 2014; Fall 2014)
Smith made a remarkable recovery from a torn left ACL in July to return to action in six months and help the Husker frontcourt. The 6-foot-8 senior returned to action on Jan. 8 and played in the Huskers’ final 17 games – all in Big Ten action - after returning to action on Jan. 8. Smith averaged 3.1 points and 3.1 rebounds a game while averaging 12.6 minutes per game.
Smith moved into the starting lineup down the stretch and averaged 3.2 points and 4.5 rebounds a game over NU’s final six games. He had two of his best three rebound efforts in the final three games of the season, grabbing a season-high nine rebounds and scoring eight points in 32 minutes at Illinois before closing his career with eight rebounds in 14 minutes against Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament. In all, he had three games of at least five rebounds on the year. After seeing limited action in his first four games, Smith moved into the starting lineup against Michigan State, as David Rivers missed the game with an ankle injury. Smith responded with seven points and seven rebounds over a then-career-high 30 minutes in NU’s 79-77 win over the Spartans. He also had six points, three rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in 17 minutes against No. 5 Wisconsin, one of four efforts with at least six points as a senior.
Smith represented his country at the 2014 FIBA Caribbean Basketball Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Smith averaged 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game before suffering a torn ACL in his left knee on July 3 against the Virgin Islands. Prior to the injury, the British Virgin Islands team was 2-0 in tournament action, but went winless after Smith’s injury and placed fourth.
Smith proved to be a valuable newcomer for the Huskers as a junior, serving as the Huskers’ first post player off the bench and one of the best frontcourt reserves in the Big Ten. The 6-foot-8 junior played in all 32 games, averaging 5.4 points on a team-high 52 percent shooting and 4.8 rebounds per game. Smith was third on the Huskers in rebounding, while he had five games with 10 or more rebounds, which was sixth among all Big Ten players in 2013-14. He reached double figures in scoring six times and led the Huskers with three double-doubles. Smith’s 4.8 rebounds per game ranked second among all Big Ten bench players, while he was second on the Huskers in both blocked shots (20) and steals (29) while averaging just 16.8 minutes per contest. He played in both of NU’s postseason contests, but fouled out for the only time on the year against Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In Big Ten action, Smith played in all 18 conference games, averaging 3.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game as he provided a physical presence off the bench. He had eight or more points four times in Big Ten action, including 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting and 10 rebounds at No. 3 Ohio State Jan. 4 as he made his only start of the season. Smith had at least eight points in four Big Ten games, including nine at Illinois on Feb. 26, as he hit all four shots from the field, and eight each against Michigan (Jan. 9) and at Purdue (Jan. 12). Smith added six points and three rebounds against Minnesota on Jan. 26, and keyed NU’s win at Indiana on March 5 with four points and five rebounds in just 13 minutes of work.
In non-conference action, Smith quickly found a role as the Huskers’ first post player off the bench, as he played at least 20 minutes in six of NU’s 12 non-conference tilts. He reached double figures for the first time against Western Illinois, scoring 10 points and pulling down five rebounds, as he scored six points in a 23-7 run to give NU an early cushion. He had 12 points and seven rebounds against South Carolina State before on Nov. 17 before he recorded his first career double-double against UMass in the Charleston Classic on Nov. 21. In that game, he had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 10 rebounds and season-high three blocks in 17 minutes. He nearly posted his second double-double of the season three days later with a season-high 11 rebounds and eight points in a win over Georgia. Smith closed out non-conference action by averaging 8.7 points on 60 percent shooting and 7.0 rebounds in NU’s final three non-conference games, including 10 points and 10 rebounds in a season-high 29 minutes against the Citadel on Dec. 21.
Smith played at Seward County Community College in 2012-13 for Coach Bryan Zollinger, helping the Saints win the Jayhawk West Conference championship. Smith averaged 8.3 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per game to help Seward County CC to a 25-8 record and the Region VI semifinals. He reached double figures in scoring eight times, including a 16-point effort against Garden City CC, and had four games of at least 10 rebounds, including 13 caroms against Lamar State College. He totaled a pair of double-doubles while finishing second on the club with 22 blocked shots. His signing marked the second straight season Nebraska signed a player from Seward CC, joining Deverell Biggs, who signed in April of 2012.
Smith began his college career at SMU, where he spent two seasons in the Mustangs program playing for Coach Matt Doherty. After redshirting his first season, his second year got off to a slow start after he tore his right ACL in March of 2011. He played 25 games during the 2011-12 season after missing the first seven games rehabbing the injury, averaging 3.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He led the Mustangs in rebounding six times, including a pair of double-figure rebound performances. He had 12 rebounds against Southeast Missouri State and 11 against Tulane. Smith's 12 rebounds against Southeast Missouri State were the most by a Mustang freshman since the 2007-08 season. Smith's season high in points came in a 10-point effort against Tulsa. He started SMU’s final four games and made six starts during his redshirt freshman campaign.
Smith played his high school basketball at Christian Life Center Academy in Humble, Texas, for Carlos Wilson. As a senior, he averaged 12 points and seven rebounds per game. He was also selected to the school honor roll at Christian Life Center Academy.
Smith helped the BVI National Team to a silver medal at the 2009 FIBA Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships held on Tortola, BVI. Smith also looked at Saint Louis University and Murray State before selecting Nebraska.
Leslee is the son of Annetta Penn and was born on July 17, 1990, in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. He has two sisters, Melanie and Gabriel and two brothers Lesshawn and Jeremiah. Leslee majors in sociology at Nebraska and is on pace to graduate in May of 2015.
* Statistics from prior team/school
Points: 13, Northern Illinois -- 11/30/13
Rebounds: 11, vs Georgia -- 11/24/13
Assists: 2, 5 times
Steals: 3, 4 times
Blocks: 3, vs UMass -- 11/21/13
FG made: 5, at Ohio State -- 01/04/14 ; vs UMass -- 11/21/13 ; Northern Illinois -- 11/30/13
FG attempts: 9, at Illinois -- 03/04/15
3FG attempts: 1, Western Illinois -- 11/12/13
FT made: 4, 4 times
FT attempts: 7, Minnesota -- 01/26/14