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The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: The basketball legend who took Mac by storm

Prodigy who dominated the game to have jersey number retired during Alumni Knight on Wednesday
Jamie Smith’s outstanding senior year was well-documented in the 1979-1980 editions of the Shield. In her senior year, Smith was named the 26-4A Outstanding Player and was high scorer for the district, averaging nearly 30 points per game. (David Enos and Kevin Baker)

Four years ago, Jamie Smith walked on the campus of McCallum High School as a student and an athlete. Three and one half years later, she has established herself as Central Texas’ finest woman athlete. Amazingly enough the 5-foot-6-inch senior only started playing basketball six years ago.

While visiting an uncle in Fort Worth, Smith encountered Brock High School’s future stars Paula and Patty Phillips, a pair of twins who led Brock High School to the state basketball tournament last year. Smith’s determination to improve her game was sparked by her obsession to “show them up” as Smith put it.

Smith’s hard work paid off. In her opening season at Lamar Junior High School, she pumped in an eye-shattering 42 points in one half a game on occasion, par for her course.

Her immediate success carried over into her debut in high school basketball.

“We knew we had something special,” said her present Coach Robert Brock, and special she was. A 14-point third quarter surge helped her lead her team in scoring, in game one of her quite illustrious career. Her final tally was 21 points.

The hot hand got hotter, en route to a 23-point scoring average. She led her team in scoring 22 of their 29 contests, gained an all-district berth, and to top it all off was named the district’s Newcomer of the Year. Enter a superstar. Perhaps her freshman year dominance can best be exemplified by the fact that she scored almost half of her team’s total points at season’s end.

If anyone wondered, as many surely did, if the “sophomore jinx” would catch up to the awesome Smith, all questions were blown away. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

The MVP choice was ludicrous. To be blunt, she (Smith) got robbed.

— anonymous 26-AAAA coach

Smith raised her season average by 15 points and her district average by 14 points. An unprecedented 42 points per game led the district in scoring by almost 15 points. But oddly enough, the Mac star did not receive the Most Valuable Player award.

“I certainly didn’t see anyone better” said Coach Brock. Another 26-AAAA coach who did not wish to be named said, “The MVP choice was ludicrous. To be blunt, she [Smith] got robbed.”

If any consolation, she reclaimed her spot on the all-district team; and as a true team player, the MVP choice didn’t have much impact on her. Smith continued her summer workouts hoping that her increasing success would continue.

Smith’s scoring habits tapered off a bit, but she still led the district in scoring her next season with a strong 27 point-per-game average. She received, though perhaps a little late, a share of the MVP award, along with University of Texas guard and formerly of Austin High Lee Ann Penick.

Smith also accomplished something that 53 percent of the world’s finest court stars, the National Basketball Association, didn’t do. She shot an impressive 80 percent from the free throw line, collecting 206 points. But the highlight of her season and perhaps career came when she was named to the all-state team after her all-Centex selection.

I would rather have won district those past few years than made all-district.

— Jamie Smith

It’s pure fact that Smith pulled in more honors last year than most high school athletes pick up their full four years. In the ending stages of her impressive prep career, the college-bound senior will rack up even more awards, but she would be the last one talking about her success. Smith is not to be confused with egotistical sports personalities.

“I would rather have won district those past few years than made all-district,” said a sincere Smith.

Jamie Smith is anything but a typical high school student. Off the court, Smith is a quiet, friendly McCallum student who loves the realm of athletic competition. On the court, well, that isn’t a big secret.

Now Smith must do what all high school seniors do: decide on her future. She plans to play collegiate ball, and top scouts could be ready to beat down her door, but strict AWIA rules forbid recruitment of women athletes until the end of their final school year.

In a recent game at the University of Texas Special Events Center, Smith and the Knights took on a red-hot LBJ Jaguar team and despite a 38-point performance by the district’s leading scorer, the Lady Knights were upended 77-69.

Although Smith led all scorers in the contest, she didn’t have a typical game, shooting under 50 percent from the floor. On the contrary, Smith displayed experienced ball handling and defense before the eyes of Texas coaches.

She can certainly play major college basketball.

— Coach Robert Brock

Along with Texas, Smith has said she would like to play her college basketball at Old Dominion, Steven F. Austin, or Wayland Baptist, all-national powers on the women’s basketball circuit.

Coach Brock states, “She can certainly play major college basketball.” Opponents are apt to agree.

When all the dust clears, Jamie Smith will have scored well over 3,400 career points, almost 30 points per game, and an ever higher over 30 points per game in crucial district play. Smith’s throne as the queen of girls’ basketball in Austin is about to come to an end, and many consider her the finest female basketball player in the history of 26-AAAA.

This article was published in The Shield on Feb. 1, 1980.

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