Nov. 17, 2003
SEATTLE - Joel Smith, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound swingman from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Washington, men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar announced Monday.
Smith was rated No. 18 nationally on TheInsidersHoops.com list of the top small forwards in the high school class of 2004. He was an honorable mention prep All-America selection by Street & Smith's preseason basketball publication.
"Joel is athletic and he knows how to play. He plays hard all the time," Romar remarked. "Joel will be a wing in our system and he can do a lot of different things in that position. He's just a basketball player. Put him out there and he will do something to help your team."
A native of Lompoc, Calif., Smith is in his second season competing at Brewster Academy in the tough New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC). He averaged 14 points, six rebounds and three assists last season for a team that included several NCAA Division I prospects. The Bobcats registered a 17-14 record and advanced to the league semifinals.
"The time at the prep school has been awesome for him. Joel really developed in all aspects," said Romar. "He's gotten stronger and he's gotten more mature. In terms of prep schools, that conference is one of the top, if not the top, in the country. Joel played against good competition all the time."
Brewster was ranked 10th in the final 2003 Prep School Poll produced by HoopsUSA. The Bobcats are listed ninth in the 2004 preseason rankings.
Smith originally attended Lompoc High School, playing for his father Joe, before transferring to Brewster for his final two years. Lompoc is the same high school that produced Napoleon Kaufman, a standout running back on the Washington football team from 1991-94.
At Lompoc, Smith received the Northern League's Most Valuable Player award in 2002 after leading the team to a perfect 10-0 record in league play. He averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds per game and was a nominee for the title of California's Mr. Basketball announced by Cal-Hi Sports. In 2001, Smith recorded 19 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
Also an outstanding high jumper on the track & field team, he was the 2001 runner-up at the California Southern Section Division Championships with a clearance of 6-feet, 6-inches.
Smith also considered offers from Marquette, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Ohio State, Providence and some other Pac-10 schools.
Washington is not expected to sign any additional players during the early signing period that concludes Wednesday. The Huskies have another scholarship available for the spring signing session that runs from April 14 through May 19.
2003-04 Washington Men's Basketball Letter of Intent Signees
Joel Smith, Guard/Forward, 6-5, 190, Lompoc, Calif.
(Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H./Lompoc HS)