Vandalia native and current professional basketball player Mike Smith is returning to the United States after spending the past year playing in two European leagues where he was the top scorer for Belfius Mons Hainaut.
Recently, he helped his team finish in a tie for second place in the Belgium Scooore League (note: Spelling of ‘Scooore” is correct). His team also participated in the 36-team Eurochallenge where they advanced to the Top-16 before being eliminated.
Besides Belgium, Smith saw time on basketball courts in Russia, Turkey, Portugal, France, Finland, and Germany.
“For me it was a very successful year,” Smith said. “(I) finished top scorer for the team in both leagues we were a part of.”
According to www.scoooreleague.be, Smith averaged 12.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He was also ninth in the league with a 42.3% from 3-point territory.
In his last game against Hubo Limburg United, Smith scored 29 points. Two games earlier, he scored 22 points against the Port of Antwerp Giants.
Smith said the team’s fans were a key to their success.
“The fans here have been great,” he added. “(They’re) always giving support through the ups and downs of the season.”
This past year has been extra special for Smith, getting to spend time with his wife Katie and newborn son Zander.
“It’s been a blessing to have my wife and son over here,” Smith said. “Being able to watch him grow and spend time with my family has been awesome! We have got to travel to many different countries and cities to explore. It has been really fun!”
Smith is looking forward to his Fourth Annual Mike Smith Camp to be held at Van-Far for grades 3-12 from June 24-26.
He said he is still taking registrations for the camp. Call 573-253-6252 or email email@example.com for more information.
As for his career, Smith believes he’ll likely return to Europe for the next professional season. He said his agent is currently working on getting Smith signed.