Athlete of the Month: Asia Smith

By Isaac Cooper, Staff Writer

Sophomore Asia Smith is a force to be reckoned with. Playing power forward and center for the Women’s varsity basketball team and goalie for the Women’s varsity soccer team, she is engulfed in a world of sports she loves.

“I love the game of basketball because of the intensity and the constant drive to be better than you were before and [to] prove yourself,” Smith said.  “I also love soccer.  I like the rush of being in the wide open field and having that rush when people are coming at you with full force and you make a play.  It’s exciting.”

Smith’s journey into the world of sports began as a  hobby when she was a kid in Washington, D.C. just looking for a way to pass the time.

“I started getting into sports when I lived in [Washington], D.C.,” Smith said.  “It was a way of getting out of the house and staying fit.”

Smith translates her passion and longtime devotion to athletics into impressive stats this basketball season.  She currently has stats surpassing the national average in points per game, rebounds per game, steals per game and blocks per game according to MaxPreps.com.

Furthermore, the women’s team is having a fantastic season.  With a total of 16 games under the team’s belt this season, they have only lost twice.  One game that Smith found particularly difficult was a game versus Highland Springs High School.  While the Demons lost, Smith said they “proved a point.”

“[Highland Springs] hasn’t lost a regular season game in a few years so we were the underdogs,” Smith said.  “Unfortunately, we lost by six, but we proved a point.  No other team in our state could compete with them, so we are state championship contenders.”

With such achievements under her belt and such a strong passion for the game, Smith has garnered the mutual respect and attention of her teammates and coach.

“When she is on the on the floor, she brings a lot of emotion to the game,” senior and teammate Na’Kiah Dillard said.  “She builds up the game.”

“Each day Asia comes ready to work.  I don’t have to teach effort with her,” Women’s basketball Coach Jonathan Gainey said.  “Every day she comes to practice striving to get better.”    

Due to Smith’s strong playing ability, she has also attracted colleges trying to recruit her through coach Gainey.  Smith however doesn’t know where she wants to go and can not begin to legally look until September 1 of this year.  This is because she is only a sophomore.

“Colleges such as James Madison University, College of Charleston, Hampton University, Elon University and Texas A&M have contacted my coach about me,” Smith said.

Since her beginning as an enthusiast of athletics to a sought after athlete, Smith has made a name for herself that, according to Coach Gainey, can take her, “anywhere she wants to go.”