Piedmont’s own 6’5” senior standout Grant Smith sat down with the Piedmont Surrey-Gazette following Tuesday night’s victory over Guthrie at Collett Fieldhouse to talk about basketball, video games, and what it’s like to play with the Piedmont basketball team.
PG: What does the game of basketball mean to you in your own words?
GS: “I’ve played basketball my whole life since I was four, and it’s the center of my life. I’d love the chance to play at the next level more than anything. This game really means a lot to me.”
PG: What’s it like getting to play with an abundance of talent like Cameron Peters, Adrion Williams, Darrius Burris, and everyone else on this team?
GS: “It’s definitely a blessing. I don’t know where you can find talent like this anywhere else in the state. We’ve been together since eighth grade and basically grown up around one another. I’ve been able to watch them grow and it’s been a blessing getting to see what they can do as players.”
PG: What’s it like getting to learn and play under Coach (Ryan) Wagner and his coaching staff?
GS: “Coach Wagner has been one of my closest friends since I’ve been in the game of basketball. I’ve been able to always talk to him about anything. It’s really cool how he coaches so well and then at school he’s one of the coolest people around. But, when it comes time for business then he’s a business man.”
PG: What’s Grant Smith like off the court?
GS: “Oh man, that’s a good question. I love playing video games and hanging out with my friends a lot. I also like sleep. Sleep is always good.”
PG: You mentioned video games, what’s your video game of choice?
GS: “I’m more of a Battlefront guy and NBA 2K14 on the PlayStation 4 is nice as well.”
PG: Do you ever go old school with your video games, like switching to NBA Jam on the Sega Genesis?
GS: “I don’t have those systems, so it’s kind of hard to do that. I’m always trading them in so I can get the better ones.”
PG: What has the city of Piedmont meant to you, and what has having the support of everyone meant to you?
GS: “It’s a blessing getting to grow up in such a family atmosphere like Piedmont. I’ve been here my whole life and its cool getting to hear your name when you walk on the court. It’s always cool knowing you have little guys looking up to you as well which is a big blessing for me. I want them to look up to me and want to play as well as I do someday.”
PG: Other than Collett Fieldhouse, do you have an opposing gym or atmosphere you love playing in?
GS: “I love playing at Southern Nazarene University. Their gym is really nice.”
PG: “Who is the one team that you always look forward to playing every year you look at the schedule?
GS: “The cliché answer would be Deer Creek to be honest. But, honestly I’d say either Guthrie or Shawnee, which were about to play Shawnee. Guthrie mainly because they are so tough and play so hard out there every game.”
PG: What would it mean to you personally and to the rest of this team to finish the job this year and win state?
GS: “Man I hope we can do that. Coach Wagner is always preaching everyday about achieving excellence. We want to leave our mark and go out with a bang. We want that gold ball.”