Six-foot-eleven senior Andrew Smith is looking to continue his basketball career in the U.S. or abroad.
To prepare, he’s entered St. Vincent Sports Performance’s rigorous pre-NBA draft training program, which he will continue up until the draft in late June.
“Going from college to the NBA is very different,” Smith said. “There’s no real way to simulate that except for playing in NBA games.”
Smith scored 1,147 points during his four years at Butler to go along with multiple nominations and awards.
In his senior season alone, he was a Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalist, posted four double-doubles and led Butler in both defensive and offensive rebounds with a combined 213 on the season.
Still, he says he has a lot of work to do, particularly in the coming months.
“He’s juggling school right now and needs to finish his internship,” said Greg Moore, sports performance specialist and strength and conditioning coach at SVSP. “But here, he’ll get individual attention outside of being part of the team.”
Moore said total body strength will definitely be a focus for Smith.
“His primary goal,” Moore said, “will be improving mobility and stability and then building a stronger foundation and range of motion.”
He said it’s still very early and most athletes start a week or two from now. That’s good news for Smith, who has a life-changing opportunity on his hands.
But even if Smith doesn’t make the cut for the draft, there are NBA team camps in Las Vegas and Orlando in July and Euroleague events after that.
Nothing is for certain, and he’s hoping SVSP’s program can improve his skills to aid his shot at going pro.
SVSP Executive Director Ralph Reiff said St. Vincent’s top-notch, all-encompassing system has a well-deserved international reputation for being one of the best in the business.
“Our scope of services we provide to athletes is very complete from all aspects,” Reiff said. “We’re very detailed about the work we do.
“We did a lot of assessments on Andrew: how he moves, literally from his big toe to his shoulders to fingertips. We have to prepare Andrew to do things he’s never done before, and we’ve designed a very comprehensive program that addresses every aspect from physical and mental standpoint to do that.”
The staff working with Smith includes about half a dozen people. Chris Thomas of Champions Academy recently took over for nationally-renowned Ed Schilling, who departed to join the UCLA team with Steve Alford.
Smith is also getting married in a month.
He is continuing to evaluate all of his options.
“Going overseas, there are a ton of good options,” Smith said. “(My agent) knows Europe pretty well. Navigating the NBA is relatively simple, and Europe gets more complicated. But there are some very good teams there and being able to travel wouldn’t be bad either.”
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