Sitting in Centertown Elementary School, Tucker Smith kept hearing the announcements for basketball tryouts. A fourth-grader at the time, Smith wasn't able to go out for the team for another year, leaving him to stick with soccer. Basketball proved to be a better choice for Smith.
Smith signed a basketball scholarship Tuesday to attend Bryan College, extending the standout Pioneers' career for at least four more years. Smith starred at Warren County High School for four years, helping the team to three regional tournaments and earning All-District 6-AAA honors his senior year.
Known for his acrobatic dunks and non-stop motor, Smith's skill stood out to Bryan coach Don Rekoske.
"We're excited to be signing Tucker," said Rekoske. "Tucker has the ability to slash and can be a good defender. We'll bring him in this summer and work him out. It's going to be competitive for playing spots and we'll see who works the hardest."
Smith didn't start playing basketball until he was in fourth grade, when his passion for soccer lulled and he wanted a new sport to try. After a year of playing Jaycee basketball, Smith made the Centertown team as a fifth-grader.
Smith played four years at Centertown and left the program a champion. As an eighth-grader, Smith helped the Warriors to an undefeated season and tournament title.
With Warren County, Smith played varsity for three seasons under coach Malcolm Montgomery. The Pioneers advanced to regionals during Smith's senior year, which saw Smith miss six games with an illness. Smith averaged 14.3 points per game as a senior and was named to the all-district first team.
During his senior year, the Pioneers won at the buzzer at home against Coffee County in a game Smith remembers most fondly.
"My favorite memory was the win against Coffee County at home when Nick hit a shot at the buzzer," said Smith. "We were down, but we fought our way back as a team."
After his senior year, Smith began looking for places where he could take his game to the next level. Bryan College, located in Dayton, gave Smith the chance to continue his career. The school stood out to Smith from the start.
"I really enjoy the coaches and the program," said Smith. "What stood out was that it's a Christian school and has a great atmosphere. It feels like where I was called to be."
Smith will enter his freshman year in search of a major, though he is leaning toward environmental engineering. School will start in August, though Smith will attend workouts at Bryan College throughout the summer.