DELTA TWP. – Waverly has produced its share of Division I women’s basketball players in the last two decades.
Alisia Smith is continuing that trend.
The 6-foot-3 senior forward recently verbally committed to Penn State while becoming the school’s latest Division I prospect.
Smith had about 20 offers and picked the Nittany Lions over Michigan, Iowa and Oklahoma State.
“I just felt like Penn State was the best fit for me,” said Smith, who is one of two players from Michigan in the 2017 recruiting class for 10th year Nittany Lion coach Coquese Washington, who is a Flint native.
“I feel it’s a good fit for me because I get to come home and go to Michigan State and Michigan and play and my family can come see me play. It’s like I’m at home. It’s just all convenient.”
Smith continues a long line of recent Division I players produced by Waverly that includes Breanna Mobley (Western Michigan), Sylvia Maxwell (Niagara), Taylor McKay (Niagara) and Victoria Milton (Alaska). She is the first Big Ten women’s basketball player to come out of Waverly since 2005 graduate Lauren Aitch, who went to Michigan State.
Continuing that tradition of successful basketball players out of Waverly is something Smith takes pride in. And she hopes to add to her legacy on the court by putting together a strong senior season for the Warriors while getting prepared for Big Ten basketball.
“I’ve really been in the gym with my dad a lot,” Smith said. “We’ve been doing basketball workouts at my church. I’ve just mostly been in the gym, working on my game and getting better for the season and for college.
“I’ve been working on my 3-point shot a lot and I’m starting to get that down. (I’ve also worked on) my hook shot, driving and ball handling.”
Smith hopes the time spent working on her game will help Waverly build off a season where it finished 14-8 and reached a Class A district championship game.
“I just want to accomplish winning districts,” Smith said while discussing her hopes for the season.
“My personal goals are just being able to keep a 20-point average and having consistent games. I just want to be consistent.”