Asia Smith only had two years at Myrtle Beach to make an impression.
Consider the job accomplished.
The Seahawk senior signed with Charleston Southern to continue her basketball career in November, and she has been named as the area’s only representative for the Carolinas Classic All-Star Basketball Games. The top all-star event for South Carolina seniors includes the top 20 girls and boys from the Palmetto State against their counterparts from North Carolina.
The contests will be played March 23 at Hoggard High School in Wilmington.
“When Asia came in to Myrtle Beach, there was a big transition for her,” Myrtle Beach coach Jennifer Dennison said. “But one thing I’ll say about Asia is she never gives up. She always has that same smile. She’s a team player. A lot of kids concentrate on stats. But if she needs to play defense, she plays defense. She could get a double-double every night.”
Even though she didn’t exactly do that, the 6-foot-2 forward did pull the points-rebound average this year. During the regular season, Smith averaged 10 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks, 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game this year for Myrtle Beach. That helped the Seahawks earn yet another playoff berth and a first-round victory over South Aiken on the road.
Myrtle Beach will head to Hilton Head on Friday for the second round, and Dennison’s team could very well punch its ticket to the third round.
As for Smith, she is expected to play another huge roll in that effort.
In the opening-round game, she had eight points and 12 points, and her defense was crucial in helping to hold South Aiken to 15 points in the game.
In the coming days, Smith could very well add to her list of accolades, as she is expected to be named to the Class 4A All-State team. That would join everything else, which includes entrance into the 1,000-point club (combining her totals from R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem). She was closing in on doing the same for rebounds, too.
Oddly enough, Dennison said Smith’s numbers could be even better. The coach believes her current senior’s offensive abilities are as strong as former standouts Kiana Adderton and Nia Sumpter, the pair of bigs who led Myrtle Beach to the 2016 state finals.
Like Smith, both of those players each earned a nod for All-State honors and initially signed with an NCAA Division-I program coming out of high school.
“[Smith’s] stats could be a lot higher on the offensive end,” Dennison said. “She’s right in there with Adderton and Sumpter. The difference between them and her is she’s more physically strong. Her favorite is the weight room. Her strength is on defense.”