Posted On: 11/19/18 4:08 PM

Ankeny is a team that could turn a lot of heads this season, and junior guard Jaxon Smith is one of several guys that will make that team go.

Supremely quick and with some of the quickest hands in the state, Smith could be considered one of Iowa’s top defenders, and he’ll be terrorizing opponents full-court this winter. He’s also becoming a serious threat on the offensive end.

“I’ve been working on being able to create for my teammates, being able to drive and kick it, stuff like that,” said Smith. “And for school ball, we’ve been working on full-court defense and pressuring teams early, getting in their face and creating turnovers.”

Smith was a key piece to what was one of the Midwest’s best teams this past spring and summer, All Iowa Attack 16U.

“This summer was different for me, coming off the bench and getting us going off the bench. We had a really good season, won a lot of tournaments and  beat a lot of sponsored teams on the circuit,” said Smith.

Now, it’s time for his junior season. The Hawks open up with Des Moines North next Tuesday. Smith has a chance to go head-to-head against another 5-foot-10 point guard, Division I prospect Tyreke Locure.

“I’m looking forward to going up against Tyreke, just to see where I’m at,” said Smith. “He’s one of the best I’ve seen in a while, obviously him being a D1 point guard, so I’m just trying to compare myself to him and see if we can pressure him, like what the game-plan is”

As a sophomore Smith averaged 11.8 points and 1.7 steals per game. This season, in addition to upping his assists numbers, Smith says his leadership role will need to increase.

“My role is to lead the team and make sure that I’m being vocal out there and making sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” he said. “If someone is hot, I need to find them, there’s no selfishness this year.”

It’ll be a big year ahead for recruitment. Division II schools have been showing initial interest, he mentioned some schools in Minnesota have reached out. Twelve months from now, Smith is hoping to have some offers on the table.

“My goal is pretty much still to get some D1 coaches to look at me,” said Smith. “I’m just looking to fulfill any role my coaches want me to take, and I think I could do anything (college) coaches are wanting or looking for.”

Jaxon Smith is ranked by Prep Hoops as a top 20 prospect in his class. To see the full ranking of Iowa’s 2020 class, click here.