Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member David Smith, son of Community members Jody and Daniel Smith and a student at Salt River Elementary School, was invited to play in the CAA Charter School All-Star basketball game to represent his school. The game was held at the Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 9.
Smith was one of the students from 64 schools who were selected to participate in the all-star game. “Smith was a representative to his junior high team and high school; we got to choose one player from our team, and I thought it would be great to send him because he is a great student with good grades,” said coach Sam Carter of Salt River High School.
Smith discussed his experience playing in the game, an opportunity that was incredibly huge to him.
“I thought it was a cool experience to be on the Phoenix Suns court playing basketball,” said Smith. “I thought I did well in the game. I was nervous and kind of scared, but I thought it was really fun to play. I got to play in the first half for about 10 minutes and also in the second half as well.”
This is Smith’s first year playing basketball, and Smith says he is working hard on his free throws and dribbling skills. “I think I am really good for my age right now because I can play very good,” said Smith.
Smith said his coaches always encouraged him to keep playing and practicing. During the game, Smith was able to make two shots and five rebounds.
“There were a lot of people there during the game; I know I made history and was the first youngest player to play on the [Suns] court and in an all-star game,” said the sixth-grader.
Smith currently plays baseball for the City of Mesa’s Westwood league and is planning to attend Carson Junior High next year.
“I want to thank my family for supporting me in my games, and also my coach,” said Smith.