Posted On: 01/27/18 11:02 AM
Powder Springs, Ga.- In the class of 2019, Charles Smith IV has become a household name drawing the attention of high-major schools across the country. Headline news dropped earlier this week as it was made known that the highly-touted shooting guard officially transferred from La Lumiere(IN) to McEachern High School(GA). Smith being added to an already nationally ranked roster of talent only adds more fuel to the success of the McEachern Indians.
I spoke with Smith’s father, Charles Smith III, about the family’s move to Powder Springs, Ga. He said “This would allow Charles to be in a situation where he was surrounded by close family and friends. We realized that there was an opportunity for him to have a positive educational and basketball situation at McEachern. “
One of those close family members is none other than world-renowned basketball skills trainer Mark Edwards. When Charles turned 10 years old, he told his parents he wanted to play basketball, and that’s when Charles III and his wife Onjewel, found Mark. Ever since then, Charles has spent countless summers and holiday breaks being developed by Edwards. “We really wanted to put a focus on his development. It was a great opportunity to potentially have him spend more time here with Mark. It was definitely one of the positives for our family to move back to Georgia,” said Smith.
Charles Smith IV is one of the best shooters in the country, but his skill set shouldn’t be limited to just shooting alone. He’s also got a 44-inch vertical and isn’t afraid to attack the rim with vengeance. He possesses a smooth feel to his game with his fluid movements up and down the court. One other impressive aspect of his game is his efficiency. In only his second game with McEachern on Wednesday, he scored 19 points in 18 minutes. He shot a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line, 50% from the 3 point line(3-6 3PM), and he shot 50% from the field (3-6 2PM). This consistency in his numbers has led to college coaches offering him scholarships left and right. Just this week Vanderbilt and UPENN offered Charles IV. You can add them to his long ever-growing list of offers that includes Oklahoma, UCONN, Georgia Tech, LSU, and Cal Berkley to name a few.
With this new McEachern team, Charles III still has high expectations for his son and the McEachern program. “We’re expecting a big season. We’re playing on a team that plays an uptempo offense. Charles can succeed in the half court, but he excells running in transition, and we’re excited to see him showcase his talents in this scenario. With Sharife Cooper’s (’20 PG) ability to facilitate our team, Isaac Okoro’s(’19 SF) aggressiveness attacking the basket, and bigs Jared Jones(’19 PF) and Babatunde Akinbola(’19 PF Auburn commit) manning the frontcourt, Charles will be able to fit right in. We want to win the state championship, and win the Dick’s National Championship,” said Smith with excitement.
I also had the opportunity to talk with Mark Edwards regarding having Charles back home. He said, “I’m excited to have him back. Charles’s work ethic is second to none. That’s what will continue to make him successful. Charles is the player who will shoot 1500 shots in the morning, and then go to play a full game that same night. The majority of kids aren’t built like that. For me to have a kid I’ve developed from scratch since he was 10 years old come back to Georgia is special. Now that he’s back, we’ve got a year and a half. We’re planning to show people how it’s done.”
That same work ethic earned Charles IV MVP at the NY2LA camp this past fall and earned him a spot in the Top 20 game last year at the Pangos All-American Camp.
In reference to his development, Edwards said, “I’m looking to build Charles’s confidence in his ball handling. Charles has all the right movements. He just needs to get more comfortable. In his past team situations, he’s been in a role where he didn’t have to focus on handling the basketball. Former teams have typically seen how well he can shoot which eventually lead them to put him in situations where he would just focus on just coming off screens and shooting. We want to showcase that there’s more to his game than just shooting. We want to show that he can handle the ball at a high level, and use that same handle to get where he wants to be on the floor.”
Both Edwards and Charles’s parents are excited about this new step in his career. They’re looking forward to watching him play on the circuit this summer during AAU ball also. Charles Smith IV seems to be in the best situation for his growth as a player. We’ll continue to follow him closely as he progresses in the future.