Inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 1986

A native of Hartford, Smith graduated from Weaver High School in 1940. He played with distinction for three years on the basketball and baseball teams, both of which he captained and was named to the all-state basketball team his senior year. He was recognized as the dominant local high school basketball player of his day, helping his team to capture the city and Metropolitan championships. Hartford Times sports reported Harold Ogden described him as “as brilliant a schoolboy basketball performer as has graced the district’s courts in the past decade,” following a game against Bulkeley in which he scored 19 of the 28 points scored by the Weaver team.

William Slitt recalled,

Harry was a “Force” unto himself. He was a great two-hand shooter from any spot on the court, straight-on, angles or deep corners. He could “hook” with either hand, drive form either side and fake his opponents out of their pants. He carried the one great skill of a truly finely-tuned player: namely, the ability to run significant patterns without the ball before freeing himself for a shot…Harry was also a team player, feeding his mates when they were “open,” or “screening” for them to shake them free. .. Though less than six feet tall, he used good position and good timing to crash the boards successfully .. Harry was the best and most complete basketball player to that date, so often and so overwhelmingly the dominant force in game after game.

Although he was offered college scholarships, he was not able to accept them for financial reasons. His father had died when Harry was very young and he felt obligated to help support his mother and his three siblings. (His mother insisted that he not neglect his sports activity and she was one of his biggest fans.) He studied accounting at Morse Business College and in 1944 entered the military, serving in the Army in Alaska until 1946. While in Alaska, he played on the all-star baseball and basketball teams.

Before and after his military service, he played with several amateur teams in Hartford, from B’nai Brith to the Royal Typewriter and Colt’s Firearms teams in the Industrial League. He also played for the Savitt Gems and was a star with the Hartford Endees. After his playing days were over, he managed and coached the Beth Hillel teams in the Synagogue League from 1966-1972, producing the senior champions in 1969-70.