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Looking Back: Madisen Smith’s journey to WVU

Before Madisen Smith was helping lead West Virginia women’s basketball team, she was a kid with a ball in her hand.

Basketball became a huge part of her life during middle school. She began playing on the varsity level at her high school during 7th grade. From there she played a total of six years on her high school basketball team at Greenville Senior High in Greenville, South Carolina.

“I was 12 years old playing with 16, 17-year old girls so it was definitely an adjustment,” Smith says. “In ninth grade, I started so I tried to learn everything I could and be as coachable as I could.”

In the six basketball seasons at Greenville Senior High, Smith totaled more than 2,000 career points and earned countless scholarships.

Smith was awarded Greenville News Upstate Player of the Year in 2018 and three-time Region 1-AAAA Player of the Year before entering college.

Moving from high school to college basketball, size has never been an issue to her. Having a small stature, standing at 5-feet-5 inches, she says she doesn’t let her size define who she is as a player.

“Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do anything because of your size or whatever, don’t let anybody stop you,” Smith said.

Looking at Smith’s from previous years, she’s been making improvements all around on a yearly basis.

Last season she completed her junior year and was selected to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. She played in 21 games, while starting 20 of those games. During her junior year, she averaged 8.2 points, 4.0 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. It was announced that she was the third on the team in assists during the 2020-21 season, 83 in total.

This year there have been several games where Smith has stood out, including games against South Florida, James Madison, and Charlotte.

Against Charlotte, Smith finished in double digits for the first time this season and was able to score a total of 11 points. Smith led the Mountaineers in a positive direction against South Florida when she tallied a team-high of 15 points. Smith tallied 10 points in the first two quarters and was the only player in the game to finish the first half with double digits. James Madison was another game where she reached double digits and was able to help carry her team to a victory.

West Virginia looks to finish the regular season on a high note and Smith hopes to lead the Mountaineers back into the NCAA Tournament.

“I just have to stay focused on my goals, which is winning. My goal is to always win,” Smith says.

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