CARL JUNCTION — One of southwest Missouri’s premier 2019 players, Carl Junction forward Trent Smith is gearing up for a big junior season.
At 6’6, Smith brings good length and athleticism, able to throw down dunks or face up and shoot from the outside. He was a second-team All-COC Large performer a year ago after averaging 19 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last season.
“I would describe my game as a stretch four,” Smith said. “I can shoot the three and am also quick enough to play on the wing.”
After a strong summer competing for the Springfield Hawks alongside several of the area’s top 2019 players, Smith began to draw interest from several college programs.
“My summer was good,” Smith said. “I got to play against a lot of good players who helped me grow as a player and a leader.”
Carl Junction has had its struggles the past few season, starting several freshmen, including Smith, a few years ago, and played many of those players again as sophomores last year. This year, Smith will team with 6’7 2018 forward Will Bebee to form one of the area’s top frontlines.
“We had been young the past few years and ran into a lot of speed bumps,” Smith said. “This year our goal is to win a district championship and we are mentally prepared for the challenge of that.”
Smith says he is looking forward to playing Webb City, a team they narrowly lost to twice last season, including in overtime in the district tournament.
“Webb City I’m looking forward to playing, just because they knocked us out of districts and last year and ended up winning it,” Smith said.
A fan of the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, Smith says his parents have had the biggest influence on his basketball career,
“They have always encouraged me throughout the years and have taken me to all of my tournaments over the years,” he says.
Smith says he is working on his perimeter game as he gears up for the upcoming season.
“I’m working on my ball handling a lot and my outside game, hoping to be able to have a different dimension to my game and being able to help my team win more games this season,” Smith said.