Posted On: 10/16/18 10:16 AM
There’s always a guy who puts up big numbers at a small school that no one really knows about. However, that’s what guys like me are here for, and part of my job is to find guys who can play regardless of where they are.
Two years ago I saw Faith Christian play at the Northside Invitational in Roanoke. Their main attraction was 7’2” senior Brendan Newton, who is currently at Liberty University, but there was an eighth grader that scored like seven points, but those seven points caught my eye.
Come to find out that eighth grader was Jamonte Smith, who went on to be their leading scorer as a freshman the next season. While I didn’t get a chance to watch him last year, I was in attendance at the Timesland Invitational, where Smith was arguably the best underclassman there.
The 5’10” combo guard showed the ability to make plays off the bounce, make contested shots from all over the court and that he can play and guard both backcourt positions. He’s a good athlete, but his great understanding of the game and skill set make him a weapon every time he’s one the floor.
He announced right before the end of the summer that he’ll be attending Roanoke Catholic this upcoming season, and he’s ready for a bigger challenge with this group.
“This year we play a tougher schedule, so we’re looking for more competition and the opportunity to compete against the best,” he said.
Catholic has a young group, but has a couple talented pieces around Smith that should make for a competitive group. They have a gauntlet of a schedule that include Mount Mission, North Cross, Oak Hill Red, Calvary Day (NC), Miller School, Carlisel and STAB among others.
As far as what Smith brings to the team, according to him he wants to do it all.
“I’m a leader, I play defense, I can score but I also get my teammates involved, I try to do it all,” he said. “I also rebound, get steals and don’t turn the ball over.”
His confidence may rub some people the wrong way, but Smith’s a guy who puts in the work when no one is looking and it pays off big time. His ability to make shots from all over the court with the ball in his hands is a tribute to how much time he works on his craft, and it has made him one of the top scorers not just in the area, but the entire state.
Even after lighting it up to the tune of 20+ points per game as a freshman, he knows he still has a ton of work to do moving forward.
“I need to continue to improve everything, my jump shot and handle needs to get better and I can always get better defensively.”
As far as what he wants to accomplish this season and over the next few years, he goes straight to the team for that one.
“I just want to win a bunch of games and win a state championship before I leave here.”
Be on the lookout for Smith, who is going to light up some big name schools this season for Catholic.