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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Billy Dee Smith

     (Born June 30, 1982) -- Barring a trade, the Buffalo Bandits will have the third pick in the National Lacrosse League this fall. They did pretty well with that pick when they had it 10 years ago.

      Buffalo selected Billy Dee Smith with that choice in 2002. He needed little time for Smith to become a fixture in the Bandits' lineup.

     Smith only played in seven games as a rookie, but he showed an edge to his play by piling up 46 penalty minutes. The next year, he became a regular in the lineup.  

     Smith's play kept getting better and better as the seasons went by. By 2009 he was named the defender of the year in the NLL, despite missing three games to injury. And speaking of injuries, he hurt his knee in the summer of 2010 and missed the entire 2011 Bandits' season.

     However, Smith was back in the lineup for 2012, and he was one of the anchors of the Buffalo defense once again.

--- Budd Bailey

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