FORT MILL — Nation Ford High senior Carson Smith signed Monday to play college basketball for the next two years at Olney Central College.
Smith said he picked the college in Olney, Ill. because of its intensive recruiting efforts of him.
“I liked how aggressive they were,” Smith said. “They have a family feel up there. I like the coaches, and they really reached out to me. I am very excited and I think it is the best choice in the long run and I just hope to make everybody proud.”
Smith was also recruited by North Greenville University, Lindsey Wilson College and Spartanburg Methodist College.
Smith, who started playing basketball when he was 4, said he is excited about the opportunity to play at the next level. The son of Kelvin and Amy Smith, Smith said he will miss the atmosphere at Nation Ford basketball games and the rivalry games the Falcons played against Fort Mill.
Olney Central head coach Mike Burris made the 10-hour trip to Nation Ford to sign Smith.
“We are excited,” Burris said. “Carson is a great kid from a great family.”
At six-foot-six and 190 pounds, Burris said that Smith could fit in at the two- three- or four-spot within the Knights lineup.
“The two things that stood out for us was that he was long and that he was a shooter,” Burris said. “He will be available to play all over the floor.”
Over the past several years, Olney has been a program on the rise. It has sent 65 kids to Division I schools over the last dozen years and has averaged 20 wins in the last five years. Two years ago, the team went 25-8 and 21-12 last year.
After two years, Smith should be able to transfer to a Division I school. He said he didn’t have a school in mind.
“I am just trying to get the best offer I can to get into DI,” he said.
Smith is the first boy’s basketball signee from Nation Ford High in its six-year history.
Former head coach Brian Turner, who stepped down after the season, expressed his happiness over Smith going to play at the next level. “There are the days that make it rewarding,” he said. “Carson has a very unique skill set.”