Ian Smith shines in rookie season overseas
Even though his season was cut short in the United Kingdom by the COVID 19 pandemic... Ian Smith still made a big impression on his new teammates, coaches and fans... And that should come as no surprise to those who watched him excel in his days with Northern.
Photojournalist Dave Hauck talked with Ian about his rookie season and how much being in Aberdeen helped him grow as a player and a person.
Ian Smith, former Northern standout says, "They even flew me out to the United Kingdom for a visit and ever since then they were pretty persistent to having me. And they showed me nothing but great class and a great culture as well so it was the right fit for me to end up with Solent. I had a great time over there for my first year. Started strong out of the gate and it gave me confidence really for the rest of the season. And all my coaches and teammates knew what I was capable of as well as myself and early success was definitely the foundation for my increased performance throughout the year.
Gabe King, NSU teammate of Ian says, "He is a real workhorse and he's always grinding and he just keeps getting better and better as he matures in his game and so it wasn't a surprise to any of us to see him do as well as he did."
"I don't know the exact numbers that I averaged but it was a little under 20 points, 6-7 assists and 6-7 rebounds as well" says Ian.
Cole Dahl, NSU teammate says, "He's doing big things and it shows because he puts in the work time and time again and once again he's one of the toughest dudes I've ever met. He hoops and he knows he's going to get the job done and he's a fearless player."
Ian says, "You never take these opportunities for granted. Things happen fast, life happens fast and things like this you would never predict would happen and things get taken away from you so there's never a time that you should go out there on the court and not give it everything you've got and play like it's your last time."
"The fans out there in the community were outstanding. They were comparable to Northern as far as loudness they gave, but as far as numbers, in college the numbers were way beyond what it was like people showing up for games. They (NSU) just instilled an amazing culture that I was relying on for toughness. The game honors toughness and that's what Northern has taught me. No matter what you're going through as a team especially, when you are going through something you have teammates that are going through the same things as you and they can pick you up and stuff like that. As far as relationships that I made, things I got to see and people I got to meet and the opportunities that were just handed out, it was amazing" says Smith.
"He's a winner" says Paul Sather, Former Northern Coach.
Photos courtesy: Luke Simcock/LSmedia
Video courtesy: Solent Kestrels