By John DeCoste
One of the best high school student-athletes in Nova Scotia has committed to attend Acadia and play for the Axewomen basketball team.
Acadia Athletics announced Jan. 15 that Chanel Smith, captain of the Halifax West Warriors and a captain of the silver-medal winning 2012 U-17 girls’ provincial team, has committed to join the Axewomen starting this fall.
Smith has represented Nova Scotia on provincial teams for the past four summers and has twice competed at nationals.
The national silver medal earned by her team last August represented the best-ever finish by a Nova Scotia girls’ team at nationals.
Axewomen head coach Bev Greenlaw was coach of the U-17 provincial team, and Smith admitted that was a factor is her decision of which university to attend.
“After spending the past summer under Coach Greenlaw’s direction, I had a relatively easy time making the commitment,” she says.
Greenlaw describes Smith, a 5’7” combination guard, as “an impressive student, athlete and person who has the potential to bring additional leadership to our young Axewomen team. We are truly pleased to welcome her into our Acadia family.”
An honour roll student who will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, Smith led her team in scoring and assists every year of her high school career, and in rebounding the past two years.
She is normally “the primary cover” for every opponent her team faces, often drawing double-team attention, yet still manages to average 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game on a young and relatively inexperienced team.
“I enjoyed coaching Chanel on the U-17 team this past summer,” Greenlaw says. “It became apparent she would become one of the leaders of that team.
“She is an unselfish team player and a great teammate, who emerged as the quiet leader and anchor kid for the team. Her teammates voted resoundingly to have her as one of our team captains.”
Smith, he said, is already a good three-point shooter who we think has tremendous upside as a total basketball player.
“In Chanel, we believe we have the kind of person, student, citizen and basketball player with whom we can seek to continue the unique community-based program we’ve created,” Greenlaw said.
For her part, Smith admits, visiting Acadia showed her how much the university is praised by the town, and how welcoming and outgoing the people are.
“I’ve always been taught to put my school work first, so Acadia is well-suited for me,” she said. “I’m eager to begin my journey and become part of the Acadia family.”