- National Teams
Nathan Smith (’96) has signed with NCAA Division 1 school Western Kentucky University for the 2015-16 season.
The 7’1″ Barking Abbey big man who has just been named to the initial Great Britain under-20 squad will join fellow Brit Ben Lawson in the Hilltoppers’ front line, following a visit to the school last month.
“I signed with WKU as I got a good feeling from there when I went on a visit last month,” Smith, who only started playing basketball (with Southend Swifts) about two and a half years ago, said to Hoopsfix.
“The coaching staff and players are all great and are very passionate and committed to basketball. The whole school and community are passionate about basketball and they all want to see you succeed at the highest level.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of having to step up my game in order to compete at a tougher level of basketball. I am excited to see how much I will develop in the next few years and I am excited to play for a great basketball programme.”
Smith averaged 3.3 points and 4.1 rebounds on 56.1% shooting while helping Kent Crusaders to the NBL Division 1 Senior Men’s playoff title, and was selected for the Hoopsfix All Star Classic last weekend having 9 points, 5 rebounds and a block in the Under-19 game.
He’s excited to have another Brit on the team with him at WKU.
“Yeah, I am looking forward to Ben being on the team. We’ve known each other for a while so it will be great to know that someone I know will be there who’s gone through the transition to playing college basketball and will be help me with the process.”
Smith added that his departure date for the US will depend on whether he makes the final GB U20 squad, and he intends to focus on his conditioning and strength over the summer, while refining his post moves and finishing around the basket in traffic.
The former England U17 averaged 7.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.3 blocks in four games for Barking Abbey in the EABL this season.
Hoopsfix wants to wish Nathan all the best with his college career!