Hope College Recruits Avondale Senior

Avondale High School Lady Jacket signed by Hope College

Avondale High School senior, Alissa Smith knows the direction that she wants her life to take after high school and knows that she will be working hard to sustain the success that led to her recruitment by Hope College where she will play basketball on one of the best teams in the MIAA.  “I love the feeling of accomplishing a challenge so I never shy away from anything,” said Smith who was recruited by Division I, II and III colleges. “I chose Hope because they have a great program and have won several Championship titles. They’re the best and I want to play with the best – I don’t mind doing the work.”

Avondale High School senior Alissa Smith signs with Hope College

Avondale High School senior Alissa Smith signs with Hope College

Athlete on her way to realizing Dream of playing College Ball

She appears to have been living that mantra throughout her high school years, on the court and in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, the National Art Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society, Smith maintains a 3.74 GPA and earned letters in three sports – basketball, volleyball and soccer. “Alissa challenges herself at every turn,” said Avondale High School counselor, Kim Olszak, “she does what she needs to do – never taking the easy way – loading her schedule with rigorous Honors and AP classes and trusting her commitment to her goals to get it all done.”

In addition to playing school basketball, Smith played club basketball for AAU teams, the Michigan Shock and the Swish, since she was in the 6th grade. “Playing club ball helped take my game beyond average,” she said, “I played with some great players and had some great coaches.” Among the coaches that she says influenced her playing is Avondale Coach Darius Whiteside. “He pushed me hard and supported and encouraged me.” Off the court, Smith names Avondale High School teachers Leigh Wright and Rick Kreinbring as having influenced her in other ways. “They both took me out of my box, into a more abstract and creative way of looking at things,” she said.

While attending Hope College, Smith will pursue a degree in Communications, a stepping stone to one of her post-college goals of becoming a broadcast journalist. In addition, she thinks about a professional basketball career as well as possibly coaching.


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