I have never been to Smithville, Oklahoma. To be honest I had never heard of Smithville, Oklahoma.
Thanks to Google I now know it is a town in McCurtain County – 184 miles and a three-hour
and three minute drive East of Tulsa. It is 1.2 square miles in area and the latest population
figure showed 113 residents.
Until just recently it was the home of Jim Knapp, he died at age 82 on January 18th, after a long illness. Thanks to a story by Tulsa World Sports prep writer, Mike Brown I learned that Jim Knapp was
Coach Knapp who had a legendary Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame career that included
763 victories and five state championships.. Four titles at Class “B” New Lima and a 1985 championship at Class A Smithville.
I also hadn’t been aware that Coach Knapp provided Oklahoma high school basketball with its “Hoosier Movie” moment when his Smithville Warriors in that 1985 championship season pulled off what is still considered the greatest upset in state hardwood history when his team shocked mighty Tulsa Booker T. Washington High School, 83-70 in the Tournament of Champions when it was played in the old Expo Square Pavilion here in Tulsa. The Hornets were the Big School four-time state champion.
Coach Knapp’s secret of success. He once said, “First you find five guys who can play a little, and
then you get to work.”
Coach Jim Knapp deserves a Parting Shot!