December 7, 2016

One of Webster’s best injured in win over Fontbonne

JORDAN PALMER/ The Journal Ahmad Smith falls to the floor in pain after he suffered a sprained ankle in Webster’s win over Fontbonne on Jan. 17. He is expected to miss at least a week.

JORDAN PALMER/ The Journal
Ahmad Smith falls to the floor in pain after he suffered a sprained ankle in Webster’s win over Fontbonne on Jan. 17. He is expected to miss at least a week.

Ahmad Smith has racked up a long list of record setting statistics during his career at Webster.

Smith is eighth on Webster University’s all-time scoring list with 1,138 points, and he is fifth in all-time field goals made with 424.

Though these statistics are noteworthy, Smith is not concerned about individual statistics much this season; instead he wants to win important games when the postseason comes around.

In Smith’s most recent game against Fontbonne University, he suffered a sprained ankle after making a driving layup. After the injury occurred he stayed on the ground for about five minutes and he appeared to be in a great deal of pain.

Smith was eventually helped off of the floor and did not return for the remainder of that game. He is now confined to crutches and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Bunch said that he will be out for at least the remainder of the week. Before the injury, Smith had been focused on helping the Gorloks reach postseason play again.

“I just want us to win the conference and division III NCAA tournament,” Smith said. “I don’t have any personal expectations or goals for myself; I just take one game at a time.”

Smith first gained notoriety in his high school career. In his senior year at Clayton High School he led his team in scoring with 21.3 points per game. He was also 10th across St. Louis high schools in scoring, trailing standout players who would eventually go on to play for division-I colleges like Cameron Biedsheid, BJ Young and Bradley Beal, who plays for the NBA’s Washington Wizards.

Smith characterized his scoring ability as something that comes naturally to him, and he said he’s always had a knack for scoring.

Clayton finished with a record of 22-7 that season and Smith’s skill set was enough for Bunch, to go after him in recruitment.

“At first he was going to walk on at (Western Illinois University), but that ended up not working out for him and he decided to come here to Webster,” Bunch said.

Smith’s career at Webster

During Smith’s freshman season Coach Bunch was willing to let him play despite his youth and inexperience by playing him 19.3 minutes per game.

Coach Bunch said he saw many intangibles in Smith’s game that convinced him that he could be the future of the team.

“He was very efficient his freshman year, he shot 50 percent (in field goal percentage), he shot 40 percent from the 3-point line and he didn’t take a lot of bad shots,” Bunch said. “He seemed to do more with less, we had other scorers on our team too so he had to be a good role player for us.”

Smith is currently in his senior season and says he is determined to get his team to win even more games in the postseason. So far he leads the team in scoring, averaging 16 points per game, and he is the third leading rebounder, averaging just about 6 per game.

He has also had his fair share of high scoring games including 25 points in an overtime win against Loras College on Nov. 29 and a season high 33 points against Washington University on Dec. 10. Over the past four years, Smith says his game has come full circle and he feels he’s grown as a player.

Smith is also looked upon as a role model figure for some of the younger players now. Sophomore teammate CJ Moore is the fourth leading scorer for the team and he says he tries to implement characteristics from Smith’s game into his own.

“Last year I pretty much learned after him,” Moore said. “He’s a great player to model your game after; you can learn a lot from a guy like him with him being here for four years.”

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