SYLACAUGA — The girl is going places.
Journey Smith’s star is shining, and her basketball reputation is on the rise.
“Some players can do just one thing well. I can do everything. I can defend, rebound (and score). I’m different,” the Sylacauga High sophomore said.
The 5-foot-6 point guard averaged 16 points and nine rebounds a game for Sylacauga this season. Smith led the Aggies to the Class 5A Central Regional semifinals this winter. The Aggies’ floor leader was named to the all-regional team.
“I like winning,” Smith said. "I’ve been playing basketball since I was 3. I know how to box out and set screens."
There is plenty more out there for the two-time All-Area 8 basketball player. Smith, the two-year starter for Sylacauga, will soon be headed to Dallas for the elite level Junior All-Star Girls Basketball Camp.
Smith is one of the lucky and honored players to get an invitation to the three-day camp, which is on the hardwood slate for March 31-April 2.
“I’m good, and I’m supposed to be at that camp. I think they saw my ranking,” Smith said. “I don’t like losing. After I score my first layup (in most games), I get rolling.”
Smith’s No. 1 fan is her father. Victor Smith is also the head coach for the Sylacauga girls basketball team.
The Aggies’ coach is not surprised at anything that his daughter accomplishes on the court.
“Journey is still developing, but basketball is her life. She studies film, and she works extra hard on putbacks and steals,” Victor Smith said.
His basketball-playing daughter even averaged 13 points a game as a freshman in the 2021-22 season. Journey Smith is improving every year.
“She loves playing defense. Journey has a high basketball IQ, and she plays tough. She can go to the basket and take two players with her,” Victor Smith said.
And at the approaching elite basketball camp in Dallas, Journey Smith will get a steady diet of drills, scrimmages and floor burns against some of the best high school girls basketball players in the United States.
“I want to showcase my skills. It’s going to be very different. I’m going to see all that talent, and I might get nervous,” Journey Smith said.
But then again the Sylacauga basketball star belongs there in Dallas, going toe-to-toe with the best players in the country. The 15-year-old Smith likes to compete.
She knows how to take the ball to the glass with the best of them. Smith is just as elite as anyone.
Smith is also on the college basketball long lists of recruiters. Smith is starting to build a national reputation with those coaches.
The Sylacauga point guard is being recruited by Pepperdine, Oregon, George Washington, Boston University and Mississippi Valley State. Montana is interested in Journey Smith, too.