Winthrop University chance a dream come true for Reyne Smith
ALEX FAIR THE ADVOCATE Everything that Reyne Smith has achieved so far on the basketball court has been about ensuring one of his major dreams could become reality.
That dream, to be part of the US College system, was confirmed on Monday, with Smith to become the latest in a production line of North-West Coast and Tasmanian basketballers to venture to America at a young age as one of Winthrop University’s class of 2021 recruits.
“This means the absolute world to me as it is something I have wanted to do since I first found out what college basketball is, so it is really exciting that it is going to become a reality,” the 17-year-old said on Tuesday.
“Seeing a lot of Tasmanians head to college has also helped make it something that I wanted and feel I could do, so I am hoping I can be successful and see where I can go from there.”
Smith, whose basketball history includes spending time with Ulverstone and Penguin in the NWBU, the North-West Thunder, the NBL1 All-Stars and the Centre of Excellence, and being part of 2019’s FIBA U17 Oceania Cup winning Emus, believed the South Carolina school was the “perfect fit” for him.
“Straight from the start I have just developed a really good relationship with their coaches and I am really comfortable talking to them and the way they play just really suits the way that I want to play at college,” he said.
“They have a large history of success and that is something that I really want to be a part of.
“They are a mid-major college, but one of the successful ones, and in the non-conference matches they play the likes of Duke and Saint Mary’s and they beat Saint Mary’s this season.
“So I will be playing a lot of the top schools outside of the conference and this will be a good test for me.
“I will most likely play the shooting guard/point position and how they’d like me to play is how I want to play and will give me some freedom, which will be great.
“This [being part of the US College system] is right at the top for me as this has all just been a build-up to doing this, as it is something that I have wanted to do since I was young, so all of that has been working towards this.”