SOUTH ZANESVILLE, Ohio- For Maysville’s Bailee Smith, it wasn’t a matter of if she could play college basketball, it was where would she play college basketball.
“She’s just one of those special players that come through,” Maysville girls basketball coach Pat Miller said. “Athletically she’s probably one of the most athletic players I’ve ever had.”
The two-time MVL player of the year, and first-team All-Ohio selection announced on twitter, that she has committed to play basketball at West Liberty University.
“When I went to West Lib, for my visit, it was like home away from home,” Smith said. “It’s a small campus and I come from a small town where everybody knows everybody and that’s kind of how it is on campus.”
Originally committed to Youngstown State, Smith ultimately made a decision focusing on what’s best for her. The head coach at West Liberty, Kyle Cooper, has known the Smith family for quite some time.
Smith says, “He’s know me ever since I was little. He’s been a big part in my family because he recruited my older sister, Brooke, who played at Maysville and then she went on to Ashland University and played in the national championship. He’s been around forever so I think that’s a big reason why too.”
Miller said, “Coach Cooper sold her on coming there. She’s probably know him since the eight grade. We’ve been going down there for shootouts in the summer time and he’s always been impressed with how she plays and I think she just really likes him.”
Having averaged 20 points a game last year, Smith is less than 200 points away from breaking the Maysville scoring record. Even with an impressive junior year, Smith feels her senior year will be even better.
“I think I’ve matured a lot. Last year I wasn’t that mature when I played and I think it showed in some games like some big games,” Smith said. “I think I’ve gotten a lot stronger and better at ball handling and shooting. I’ve worked on getting my shot off a lot quicker because you’re going to need that because there are some good teams in the MVL and you’re gonna need that at the next level too.