B-P junior Makenzie Smith will be graduating high school one year early in order to join the women’s basketball team at the University of South Carolina at Aiken. Smith made it official this week by signing a National Letter of Intent in the Robert C. Munn Gymnasium at Broadalbin-Perth High School, flanked by her mom April Montenaro, her step-father David Montenaro, B-P athletics director and girls varsity basketball coach Tucker Gifford, and her longtime AAU basketball coach Scott Alvarez, along with several friends, former teammates and teachers.
Finishing up high school a year early meant that Smith had to take some extra courses over the summer, but it was a sacrifice she was more than happy to make.
“They made the offer and I really felt like it was something I didn’t want to miss out on,” Smith said.
Because of COVID-19, Smith hasn’t been able to visit the campus in-person yet, but says that she’s taken several virtual tours and has spent hours on the phone with her new head coach and assistant coach.
Smith has been making waves as a starter on the Broadalbin-Perth girls varsity basketball team for the past three years. She joined the varsity team as an eighth grader, and that year, she was an all-Foothills Council honorable mention and B-P’s Rookie of the Year. With a year of varsity confidence under her belt, Smith’s freshman and sophomore years brought about more accolades, including being named to the all-Foothills Council Second Team and earning back-to-back team MVP awards at B-P.
“Makenzie is a fierce competitor,” Gifford said. “She’s obviously very talented, but her competitive drive and will to win really separate her from the rest. I’ve coached her for three years and I am very proud of her development as a player and how she’s grown as a leader on the court. I’m excited to follow the next stage of her playing career.”
Smith is still holding out hope that there will be some sort of high school basketball season this year and admits that she calls Coach Gifford almost every day to see if he’s heard any updates. Not only is she wanting to have one last season in a B-P Patriots jersey, she’s also just 153 points shy of hitting the 1,000-point mark.
Smith’s B-P Career Stats:
- 2017-18 (8th grade) – led team in scoring at 12.1 points per game and rebounding at 9.0 rebounds per game
- 2018-19 (9th grade) – led team in scoring at 14.2 points per game and rebounding at 10.1 rebounds per game
- 2019-20 (10th grade) – led team in scoring at 15.7 points per game and rebounding at 10.3 rebounds per game