Last year, with the help of their big three – Cole Webster, Mason Neighbors and Sam Smith – the Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy boys’ basketball team shocked VACA and won their first basketball championship. in program history and the first state championship in school history. Now, one of the big three is looking to continue his basketball career at Patrick Henry Community College.
Smith emerged as a vital option for the Ospreys during his senior season and played a crucial role in their 43-39 victory in the state championship game against Westover Christian Academy after teammate Mason Neighbors suffered an injury. ankle at the start of the first quarter. After his basketball career ended, Smith felt his playing days were over and he was ready to move on after graduation. Now he has a change of heart and will try out at Patrick Henry Community College.
“My love for basketball was just too strong,” Smith said. “I just couldn’t give up yet.”
When it came to the Big Three, Smith was known as the guy who did the dirty work. He was scoring his points, but he was always the one fighting for the rebounds, diving to the ground for loose balls and keeping the best player on the team because of his tenacious engine that never wore out and his jumping vertical. Although he may have been undersized, his athletic ability helped Smith become one of the best post defensemen not only in their conference, but also in VACA.
“Sam is as athletic a kid as I’ve ever coached,” said SMLCA boys’ basketball head coach Mike Greathouse. “This kid, he can jump out of the gym and can be one of the best rebounders, right after and get the ball back at all costs. He was just phenomenal at that.”
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