During his time at Van-Far R-I High School, Vandalia native Mike Smith elevated the school’s basketball program through his hard work and determination.
He played a big part in helping the Indians win a state basketball championship.
He later went on to be a standout athlete on the NCAA Division I collegiate level and just finished up his first professional basketball season in Germany, averaging in double figures.
While many like him could easily let the success go to his head, he instead has turned his attention on teaching young basketball players the path to success with the hopes of them developing a love for a sport that is dear to his heart.
An outlet for him came last week as he held the four day 1st Annual Mike Smith boys and girls basketball camp at Van-Far High School.
More than 100 kids in grades 3-12 showed up each day to learn basic skills, compete in fun games, and develop an appreciation for the sport.
He had a solid group of coaches and volunteers to help organize and instruct a large number of players during the three sessions.
My son Isaiah was very thankful to participate in this camp. I haven’t worked much with him in basketball other than playing with our Fisher Price hoop in the backyard and our slam dunk contests on Wii Sports Resort. This was a great way to introduce him to the sport and he seemed to do well with it.
I will brag here as a proud father to tell you he was named the Most Improved Player for his grade. I’m proud of him and grateful he had this opportunity.
Both the Vandalia and Farber communities should be proud and thankful that Smith comes back to dedicate this time to the kids.
In a related note, Smith’s former head coach Brian Meny is settling in as the new head basketball coach at Palmyra High School.
The Vandalia Leader will be catching up with him for a story in the near future.
For those who know him, I think we knew it was only a matter of time for Meny to find himself back on the sidelines. Whatever position he took had to be the right one for his family and from my past conversations with folks in the Palmyra district, it seems like this is a perfect fit for the Menys. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.