Ike Smith makes his impact on the court

Marqus Williams

His name is Ike Smith, a freshman guard for Georgia Southern from Gainesville, Florida. He’s the type of guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder and loves to compete and get better every day. Smith is a key player for the Eagles as he averages 12.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He’s third on the team in scoring and second in rebounds, but the stats can’t explain who he is.

This is a guy who didn’t play basketball as his first sport, but happened to fall heavily into the sport after getting injured playing football in sixth grade. He used to shoot with his friends on the court where they noticed he was pretty good, which led him to the life of playing basketball for the AAU Florida Elite, Gainesville High, and now the Georgia Southern Eagles.

Many fans see him as one of the key players on the Eagles team on their journey through the Sun Belt but he doesn’t think into all that. “I really don’t have a role, coach just puts the ball in my hands and I do what he tells me. My main focus is trying to get better on defense, as is the team’s main focus” Ike said, about his views as a player in their system. He’s an unselfish guy on the court as he doesn’t see himself as having that “key” role on the court but rather a player that does what’s best for the team and seeks improvement to better himself.

Though he is an athlete, he’s also a student first. Ike’s transition as a student athlete has been good in his eyes. “It’s kind of tough being a freshman and everybody’s always on to you, trying to teach you but it’s pretty good, I like it,” said Ike on his first year at Georgia Southern. He chose the Eagles because his cousin, Willie Powells, used to go to Georgia Southern and he used to tell him stories about how much he loved GSU. When Ike finally came to visit he saw a bunch of things he liked and his relationship with the coaches was a strong one that ultimately led him to Eagle Nation.

As a freshman, there will be more to see from Ike as he progresses in his basketball career. His hard work and attitude will be his strongest attributes to build upon.

Quick Hitters:

Favorite Hype Song before a Game?

Plies- Rich Carlton

Best Basketball Memory?

“Going to the state finals against Miami Northern. It helped me grow a long way and the experience was something I’ll never forget.”

College Life Lesson?


Best college experience so far?

“Going to Costa Rica over the summer most definitely. Being able to get out of the country to play basketball and experience that was great.”

Future Aspirations?

“Get a degree. Also be a pro, whether it’s in the NBA or overseas either one is fine with me.”