When I think of a tough Warren County high school athlete during the past year, Jaden Smartt is the first person I think of…and that includes football. Playing with an injured knee is one thing, but continuing to play on it when it keeps providing exceptional pain is another thing. Seeing Jaden Smartt take punishment in two sports, soccer and basketball, was inspiring. She never quit.

There are a few other things that I see in Jaden Smartt the athlete. Intelligence. She always knew what to do, was in the right position. Determination. She never backed away from contact or intense moments in a game. She was very productive at the foul line when it really counted. Humor. She is witty and can say funny things before practices and after games. Spirit. Jaden Smartt always had team spirit and was the ultimate team player who put her ego aside and did her job in a game.

One more characteristic. Articulate. Exhibit A is her answers to my questions below.

Jaden Smartt was focused and all business whenever she was in a game.

BD Newsletter: How would you describe your basketball career? Your senior season?

Jaden Smartt: Basketball has brought me to highs that I did not even know existed. I have made so many lifelong friendships on every team I have played on. I have also learned so much from all of my many coaches throughout the years. They not only taught me how to be a quality player, but also how to be a better person off the court. My senior season has been so special. This team is so amazing and I know they will continue to make Warren County proud. We achieved so many milestones this year, and it proves that the hard work we have put in over the years has paid off. 

Jaden Smartt was tenacious on the court, whether it was fighting for possession of the ball or driving to the hoop., and always put her total effort into each moment.

BD Newsletter: On a scale of 1-10, 1 being no discomfort and 10 being maximum discomfort, how uncomfortable was your injured knee this season?

Jaden Smartt: My level of discomfort with my injured knee this season was a 4. This group of girls and coaches made it so easy to go through the pain because of how hard they worked. Special shout-out to Trainer Tim, Zach Sutton, and Dr. Brown for always encouraging me and working with me so I could complete my basketball season. 

BD Newsletter:  What did you feel inside as you walked off the court during your final game?

Jaden Smartt: It is a bittersweet feeling. I was heartbroken because I knew I would never get to put on a Warren County jersey again. I also knew that the little girl who held a basketball for the first time and fell in love with the game would be so proud of what I have accomplished over the years. Even though my career as a Lady Pioneer is over, I am excited to see how the team continues to grow. 

BD Newsletter: What would you say is the team’s greatest strength? What should the team work on in the offseason?

Jaden Smartt: This team is so special in so many ways. The amount of effort given day in and day out is the teams greatest strength. It is guaranteed that they will give everything it takes and work hard. They are very aggressive on offense and defense. This team is also very close. You spend so much time together that you become like family. I am excited to see how they grow individually and as a team during the off-season. 

Jaden Smartt always had the “eye of the tiger’ in games.

BD Newsletter: How did this season change how you feel about the contribution high school sports can make for someone on a team? The school? The town?

Jaden Smartt: High school sports have definitely impacted my life in so many ways. Sports have made me a more matured, self-assured version of myself. This season has given me the opportunity to lead and learn which is vital to the development of one on and off the court. Having a winning season brought more people to our games, and knowing that the school and community has our backs means so much. Sports bring communities together and seeing the support and great atmosphere in the gym can encourage younger kids to begin playing basketball too. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s