A.J. Smith

EDWARDSVILLE - Senior A.J. Smith was one of the key players for the boys' basketball team at Metro-East Lutheran High School, where he led the Knights in scoring during the 2019-20 season. Although the 2020-21 season has been delayed in starting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith is expected to be one of the team's leaders this coming season.

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For his accomplishments on the court, Smith has been named the Riverbender.com male Athlete of the Month at Metro-East for December, 2020.

Smith, who plays for head coach Anthony Smith, has been playing basketball since early in grade school and loves both the work ethic involved in the sport, along with the social aspects as well.

"I have been playing basketball since the third grade," Smith said, "and I love how much work you have to put into it to get what you want to get out of it, and you meet new people and players all the time through the sport."

Smith thanked his family for helping him strive to reach his goals both on the court and in the classroom.

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"I would like to thank everyone in my family for just being there for me," Smith said, "and helping me strive for my goals, and taking the time to help me with sports and academics."

Smith comes from a very athletic family. His father is also the Knights' head coach, his older brother Mark is a standout basketball player at Missouri, and his sister, Maria, is in her freshman year as a softball player at Southern Mississippi. Being involved in sports has definitely helped A.J. develop into the kind of person that he is today.

"It has helped me a lot," Smith said, "due to all the family members and teachers that have been there to help me achieve what I'm trying to do in my life."

Smith does hope to continue playing basketball in college but hasn't yet made a decision of where he'll go to school or what major he'll pursue.

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of. Please join us in congratulating this young athlete. We at Riverbender.com wish you continued success in your future!

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