He led Wingate High School to three consecutive Kansas state championships, 1926-1929.
He played for Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) in the early 1930s and was considered one of the best players of his time. He led the team to 47 straight victories and four straight conference titles. He was nicknamed "One Grand" for scoring exactly 1,000 points during his college career.
Ernest Schmidt was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1974.