Prep Basketball: Garrard County's Kelly Smith surprised and honored to reach 1,000-point plateau
Garrard County¿s Kelly Smith (34) scored her 1,000th career point in a Nov. 30 win, but said it never occurred to her that she would ever reach that scoring milestone. (Clay Jackson / December 14, 2012)
However, it never occurred to the Golden Lions’ senior center that she would be coming up on 1,000 points in her career. She just doesn’t think that way.
Smith, along with junior guard Devin Conley, reached that career milestone Nov. 30 in a 68-30 win over North Laurel.
“It was a surprise because I never thought I would get a thousand points. It feels really good,” Smith said. “I’m excited, and basketball is my favorite sport, and I just love it to death and I’m really happy I did get 1,000 points.
“But it’s not just about 1,000 points. It’s about our team. It’s not about me getting my 1,000th point.”
Smith is averaging 11 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Lions (4-1), who are playing in the Berea Lady Pirate Holiday Classic this weekend. Those numbers are up from the 10.4 points and 6.6 boards she averaged last year.
Garrard coach Scott Bolin said Smith is well deserving of her honor.
“Kelly’s a super girl, she works really, really hard for everything she does in life,” Bolin said. “I enjoy getting to see kids do things that are positive. And we don’t play basketball for individuals, but to see kids succeed after the hard work and dedication, and the adversity she went through is very satisfying, very gratifying for as a coach. Just to see her reap the rewards for hard work.”
But Smith was not aware there were any rewards to be reaped until the beginning of this season.
“Coach Bolin told me at the beginning of the year I was pretty close to it, and it shocked me,” she said. “I had no idea. I’m a team player, so I just never thought about it.”
But what makes the milestone special, Smith admitted, was that she did it after missing her sophomore season with a knee injury.
“I knew when I came back, I would have to work a whole lot harder because of my knee surgery,” she said. “I knew it would need to get it built back up and make sure it came out as good and strong as it was before.”
Bolin said Smith worked hard to get back and make sure her knee was healthy. And that hard work, and all the other work Smith has done, has rubbed off on the other players.
“I love my seniors, they do a nice job of leading by example. And Kelly works hard,” Bolin said. “Kelly’s not always the most vocal person, but she’ll work hard and that’s a huge attribute for her and the younger ones, because they see her working.
“And if she tells them to work hard and then they see she’s getting it done herself. So if she’s going to ask for it, she’s going to get it.”
Smith said with the stiff competition Garrard faces in the 45th District, she is going to have to ask a lot out of her teammates.
“Every day, we just try to work harder and try to improve because we are in a tough district,” she said. “And every day we need to get better in practice.
“In practice, when we play against each other, we just need to make sure we make each other work.”
With her high school career in its final season, Smith said she is thinking about if she wants to play basketball in college. She has talked to a few schools, including Asbury, but will wait until after the season before making a choice.
“I’m just going to wait until after the season, see how my senior year goes, and then decide,” she said.