Graham Smith, the top high school basketball player in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district this year, will be playing for the Simon Fraser University Clan next season.
“Graham has worked hard to develop his skill-set over the last couple of seasons to become one of the best players in the province,” said SFU coach James Blake, after Smith signed a letter of intent.
“Graham has good vision and he is a very good passer who is going to fit our pass ahead, high pace system.”
Mr. Everything for the Pitt senior boys team, the six-foot-five centre is averaging 29 points, 24 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game so far this season with Pitt Meadows secondary.
Last year, as a grade 11 student, Smith broke the 24-year-old Marauders record for most points in a season with 1,401.
He averaged 25.9 points per game.
Smith is also a four-time B.C. provincial team member, playing on the U14, U15, U16 and U17 teams. He led Team B.C. in scoring, rebounding and assists at the U-17 Canadian National Championship tournament in Edmonton last summer, with 15.5 points per game, eight rebounds and three assists through the six games against the best high school players in the country.
Smith believes his performance in that tournament, which was heavily scouted by Canadian universities, helped him turn the heads of the SFU staff.
“I did really well, and I think it helped me a lot.”
Smith’s height and tenacity under the basket makes him an obvious choice to play post at the high school level, but he might play outside at the university level. He’s worked hard on that game, and says his shooting and driving from the outside have improved.
The Pitt Meadows team has been ranked ninth in B.C. in the early going.
“We’re looking good, and we’re going to improve a lot,” said Smith. “I’ve played with this same group since Grade 9.”
Other key players with the Marauders this year are guards Mark Ashamalla, Zach Villanueva and forward Jordan Murley.
Pitt would be a dominant team on the triple A circuit, but elected to go quad A when that division started last year.
“If you want to play the best basketball in the province, you’ve got to play quad A, and we all wanted to do that.”
Smith is an honour roll student who has been named PMSS Athlete of the Year four times. He plans to study business.
Attending SFU is a family trait for the Smiths. Both of his parents and his sister are Clan alumni.
“It’s always been my favourite school, and it’s the best business school around.”
The Marauders are playing in the Maui Invitational Tournament this weekend.