By TERESA CHIPMAN
PHS sports writer
When you are doing something you love it doesn’t matter how hard it is, it still doesn’t feel like work. That is how Taylor Smellie feels about basketball.
“I have been playing basketball ever since I can remember,” he said. “When I was really little I had a little tikes hoop that I would always shoot on. I have always loved basketball. I practice a lot, but I enjoy it. It isn’t something that I was ever forced to do. It was always my choice and I chose to do it a lot. My brother and I used to love to go with my dad in the early morning before school and go shoot at the church.”
“My dad always told me, ‘Taylor you’re probably not going to be the tallest player on the team, so if you learn to dribble well and pass the ball the coach will want you on the court!’” said Smellie, and his dad was right.
Smellie, who was recently named the MVP of the 5th/6th District all star game in Pocatello, was the starting point guard for the Preston Indians this school year. As a senior and the only player returning with any meaningful varsity experience, he was definitely a leader for the team in many ways.
“Taylor has worked hard to accomplish his goals of playing varsity basketball and becoming an all-around player,” said his father, Ron Smellie. “He plays good defense, shoots very well, rebounds, dribbles and passes the ball at a high level.”
Coach Tyler Jones also commented on Taylor’s preparation for the season saying he averaged 2.8 points a game as a junior and 17.2 points and three assists as a senior. He really stepped up to fill the gap left by the 2011-12 seniors.
“We lost 98 percent of our offense with the graduating seniors so it was great to see him catch fire and score for us. We came to rely on that game-after-game,” Jones said. “He worked hard and was a good example to the younger players. As the only returning varsity player with experience he was crucial to leading the younger players and helping them mesh as a team. We expected a lot from him and he stepped up to the challenge.”
Smellie had nine games where he scored over 20 points, including his career high 34-point game and a 31-point game.
This story is sponsored by LDS Living – Missionaries.
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