By JOSEPH STASZEWSKI
Some of the recruiting process is actually a bit new to Bria Smith.
The Christ the King guard only made one official visit over the summer to Virginia before picking the Cavaliers. The New York Post’s All-City girls’ basketball Player of the Year decommited from the ACC school in March after Coach Debbie Ryan stepped down and recently took officials to Louisville and Tennessee.
“It felt kind of weird because I really didn’t know how to go on an official visit and not be committed,” said Smith, the No. 8-ranked recruit in her class by HoopGurlz.
Each stop was a different experience. Smith, who will take some time to consider if she will go on additional visits, had previously been to Louisville unofficially. The Cardinals were in her final three the first time around for the McDonald’s All-American Game, so there was a familiar feel during her time there last week. By knowing everyone, she said things felt kind of normal in Kentucky.
Tennessee, on the other hand, was not a big player in Smith’s initial recruitment and she was also in the state for the first time after flying out there Sunday. She can take up to two more official visits.
“I always wanted to see the facilities,” Smith said. “I’ve never been to Tennessee. I like to travel. I like to see different places. It was fun.”
The day before those visits, Oklahoma Coach Sherri Coale stopped by Christ the King in hopes of catching Smith, who unfortunately was not there to greet her. That’s the way this part of the process has gone for Smith, who did not want to give an official list because she is still in contact with many schools.
She did say Georgia, which was a finalist in her initial recruitment, is also in the mix. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 21.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game to lead Christ the King to a 21-9 record and a spot in the CHSAA Class AA state final.
“I feel like I have way more choices than I did the first time around even though the first time around I had a lot of schools,” Smith said. “At first this was really overwhelming.”
It’s for that reason that she wants to take some time to decompress before making any decisions about visits or school choice, but plans on picking a destination sometime in May. The process has been an exhausting one as she goes into a period of rest and reflection.
“The first thing I did was take a nap,” Smith said of her actions after landing home last week. “I guess that pretty much sums up that question.”
Many still remain for her.