August 14, 2012

Smith ready to lead

Kevin McCarthy

The Sacramento area is just overflowing of late with basketball prospects. So much so that a few of these talents don't receive the justly deserved acknowledgment. Count point guard Ahmad Smith of the Nor Cal Warriors and Bella Vista High School as one of those unsung talents. A senior this year, Ahmad is primed and ready for a solid season and then a move to D-1 basketball.

photo of Ahmad Smith

Always a leading scorer, the 6-foot-0 Smith takes pride in his ability to read the court and incorporate his teammates in battling for a win. An All-Capital Valley Conference selection after last season, Smith doesn't let anything keep him away from the game, hence his playing all this summer with a sprained toe.

When asked about the origins of his skills, Smith offered, "I've been playing this game for a long time. When I was three years old my Dad bought me a Little Tykes hoop. My parents kept moving the basket up higher and higher then farther and farther away and every time I made a shot they would clap and jump up and down. I've been hooked on basketball ever since."

Smith transferred to Bella Vista (in Fair Oaks) from Jesuit (in Sacramento) very near the end of his freshman year. He was placed on varsity in his sophomore year and it was in that season that "people started talking to me about college basketball." It clued him in that earning a basketball scholarship, provided the necessary effort was forthcoming, was within reach.

Nor Cal Warrior Coach John Florance described his on-court leader thusly: "Ahmad is to date the best player I have had on a club team who always came focused and ready to play. Going into each game, I knew he would compete which made me feel we would have a chance to win."

He added: "He made us run and led us into every game. I'm sure glad Ahmad joined my club as not only is he a good player, he is a great person and teammate."

Several California colleges and universities are expressing interest in Smith and Florance lauded that interest: "Going forward I know Ahmad will have a great senior year and whatever college he goes to will be better because of it."

Smith is performing well academically and has plans to take the SAT several more times in order to achieve the highest score possible. He is planning to major in English.

A query regarding his best moment in basketball brought this answer: "We had made it to the Nor Cal semi finals at the Power Balance Pavilion where I've gone many times to see the Kings play. It was so big time: all bright lights, cameras, and a real announcer just like the Kings' games -- just so cool, so NBA. It was enough to make any player nervous and I was at first but then the game started and I didn't think about anything but playing my best game. We didn't win but I scored 27 points, the highest scorer on either team."

In front of two, two hundred or two thousand, Smith is ready for the big time.