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Smith (26), who grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, has recently been playing in Germany.
He arrived in New Zealand last week to spend 17 weeks working as a basketball development officer in Oamaru.
North Otago Basketball Association president Sandra Familton said Smith would be scouting emerging talent, running coaching clinics, helping representative teams and would be available to schools.
Sixty 60 teams were entered this year in mini-ball, collegiate and adult basketball grades.
Smith is already playing in club competition in Dunedin and will also play for the North Otago Penguins, reformed after last playing in 2000.
Smith, who played college basketball in the United States with Oamaru player-coach Ian Cathcart, said it was his first trip to New Zealand and he had a "good feeling".
Oamaru was small and friendly and he hoped to do some fishing when basketball commitments allowed.
His game in Dunedin last Saturday, was his first since an eight-month stint in Germany ended, and said, while he was just a little bit out of breath, he "got into the groove" after the first quarter and the team won.
Smith was unsure where he would head when his time in Oamaru was over, although his team in Germany had indicated it wanted him back.
"When you play ball like that, it's just a day-to-day thing. You might get an email here or email there or you might not get an email until the last minute," he said.