Bartow announces signing of JuCo forward Leonard Smith

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 14, 2013) – ETSU men’s basketball head coach Murry Bartow announced Wednesday that the Buccaneers have signed junior college forward Leonard Smith (Hickman, Ky.) to join the team’s 2013-14 recruiting class.

Smith, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound forward who played the last two seasons at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla., averaged 13 points and nine rebounds a game in 2012-13.

During his prep career at Fulton County High School from 2007-2011, Smith set school records for points (1,903) and rebounds (1,156), and was consistently picked to his all-district and all-region teams throughout his four-year career. He ended his senior season averaging 19.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.0 steals per game as a senior.  

Bartow said that while Smith was athletic and skilled, it was his work ethic and effort that really stood out to the ETSU coaching staff.

“The biggest thing that jumps out when you watch Leonard play is that he is a very competitive kid,” Smith said. “He will bring an air of toughness and tenacity to our team – which is something we need. He’s not a guy with a true position, and we’ve had a lot of guys like that in our program who aren’t a 3 or a 4, but fit somewhere in between. He’s a good passer and defender, and a capable shooter, and we really like his strength. He has the ability to play in the post and be an inside/outside guy for us. We think he will be a good addition to our team.”

Smith said he played on a talented junior college team with several players who earned Division I scholarships, but that he understands accepting any role on the team.

“I bring hard work, effort, and desire to any team I play on,” said Smith, who was also a two-sport standout at the prep level as a highly-recruited quarterback. “Wherever I can help and whatever the coaches want I will do it. For me, it’s about working every day to reach another level and to better my game.”

Smith joins four other players who had previously signed to join the Bucs’ 2013-14 recruiting class, a group that includes Darius Forrest (Jackson, Miss.), Jaylen Riley (Racine, Wis.), Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.) and A.J. Merriweather (Jackson). For more ETSU men’s basketball throughout the offseason, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.

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