College Spotlight: Smith shows patience in awaiting her turn at Emmanuel

It’s never easy to sit the bench. For many young athletes, they’ll bolt at a better opportunity if they get one. Still, others wait patiently for their opportunity to start. That’s the case for Banks County native Allison Smith, who is in the midst of her senior season at Emmanuel College.

“It hasn’t been easy at times, and the temptation to take the easy route and move on was definitely present, but since the beginning of the recruiting process I have felt called to be at Emmanuel for reasons that are bigger than basketball,” states Smith. “I have been blessed with some amazing friends, teammates, and leadership through EC women’s basketball and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Staying motivated is less difficult when you have people like this in your corner to encourage you through the struggles. I am excited and thankful for the opportunity God has given me to not only be part of such a great program, but also to play the sport that I love in my last year here at EC.”

After starting zero games over her first 3 seasons, but playing in 24 games total, Smith earned a starting spot in 2021-22, and through 11 games this season she has averaged 7.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. She’s added 19 assists, 9 blocks, 6 steals, and 14 3-pointers. Her play this season has been solid, and has kept Emmanuel in many games despite sometimes being an underdog.

“One of my favorite games from this season so far was when we played North Georgia,” says Smith. “This is because everyone showed up with an good attitude ready to play our best, no matter what the scoreboard said. Right from the jump we came out with tenacity and aggression, ready to give the Nighthawks a run for their money. Even though we were the underdogs going into this game, we definitely did not show it. It was a very intense back and fourth game during the first 3 quarters. Although they pulled away in the fourth and won the game, it was an experience that showed us we can be a really good team despite the challenges that were set before us.”

At 2-9 overall, this season has not been an easy one for Emmanuel. Still, the game means more than wins and losses, especially to Smith.

“The game of basketball has taught me so many lessons in life that I will always remember, but the one that sticks out to me the most is that success is not going to present itself simply because of who is on your team, the coach you have, or what your history looks like,” states Smith. “Success is something that has to be worked for and earned rather than given freely, no matter how old you are or how much experience you may have. Talent will only get you so far until hard work and hustle must become aspects in the process. This goes for on the court, in the classroom, as well as in life.”

To that end, Smith has excelled. Her hard work and determination have paid off on the court. She and her team have solid goals for this season.

“Our goals this season have always been to consistently get better each and every day we step into the gym, and to do it together because without everyone on the same page, we might as well not have even shown up,” says Smith. “Togetherness has been so important for us this season due to the large amount of new players we have, and I can honestly say that who we are and how we play now has drastically improved since we began in August. Individually, my goal is to be a Christ-like example to all of my teammates, coaches, and fellow students no matter what setting I’m in. Emmanuel has been a place for me to grow in my walk with the Lord, as well as better myself as a basketball player.”

Though Smith has an extra year of eligibility to play as a “Super Senior” next year due to COVID issues last year, she has opted not to use it. That means for her, the 2021-22 season will mark the end of her basketball playing career.

“I am a kinesiology major and plan to go to grad school for Physical Therapy after graduating from Emmanuel College,” says Smith. “This has been my goal since middle school and it is humbling to see it all unfolding right before my eyes.”

The future is brighter than ever for Smith, who played at Banks County and graduated in 2018. She scored over 1,000 points in her high school career, averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block per game as a Lady Leopard. She shot 35% from the floor, and was an All-State player as a senior in the 2017-18 season. Smith is in the BLITZ Hall of Fame.

Allison Smith - Banks - Emmanuel

College Spotlight Framed Print (11×17) – Allison Smith

College Spotlight Framed Print (11×17) – Allison Smith


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