Photo by Craig’s Photography
Michael Smith is a senior on the Bartlesville High School basketball team and is looking forward to making the most out of his final year with the Bruins.
As Smith embarks on his final semester of high school, his sights are set on preparing himself for the future and having fun while competing with his teammates one last time. For Smith, basketball has always been a big part of his life and, at times, provides a relief from the stresses of being a high school student with many responsibilities.
“I first started playing basketball when I was five years old,” Smith said. “The best part about basketball, in my opinion, is when times aren’t the best because basketball is always there to distract your attention and make everything better.”
As a senior, Smith is looked upon to provide leadership for his teammates. Over the years, Smith has learned to appreciate every moment and to use every opportunity to grow and improve not only as a basketball player but as a person, too.
“As a senior I would tell the underclassmen not to take their time for granted,” Smith said. “Considering COVID stole two of my years, you never know what might occur. Utilize the time you have wisely. Have the mentality that no one will outwork you.”
Smith has set some goals for himself this season that he is working to accomplish both with his team and as an individual both on and off the court. Ultimately, his goal is to help the Bruins be as successful as possible and earn the opportunity to continue his playing career at the next level.
“On the court I want to win a state championship and earn a scholarship to college,” Smith said. “In the classroom, I want to achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above and get a good ACT score.”
Basketball is the only sport that Smith currently plays – though he’s considering running track in the spring – and this offseason he made an effort to improve his overall game and has been seeing the results of his hard work pay off already early into the season.
“Offensively I’ve been working to improve my shooting off the catch,” Smith said. “Additionally this offseason I took more pride in my defense and making it harder for opponents to score on and off the ball.”