USA TODAY Names Nick Smith Jr. National Boys Basketball Player of the Year
Nick Smith Jr., incoming University of Arkansas freshman, was named USA TODAY National High School Boys Player of the Year. Derrian Ford, another Razorback signee, was one of the 24 finalists that were up for the award too.
“Smith masterfully used his 6-foot-5 frame to create scoring angles and size mismatches during North Little Rock’s run to the Class 6A state championship. He was at his best in the state final, dropping 25 points,” According to USA TODAY. “The centerpiece of Arkansas’ No. 1 rated recruiting class in the nation, Smith’s NBA Draft prospects are on the rise.”
Smith was also selected as the No.1 overall prospect in the country by 247 Sports, the top-rated point guard in the country by Rivals and the top-rated shooting guard in the nation by ESPN. Smith was a McDonald’s All-American and was named co-MVP of the Jordan Brand Classic.
NBA Draft Room and ESPN have Smith pegged as the first collegiate player (third overall) selected on their respective 2023 NBA mock drafts. CBS Sports projects Smith as the top collegiate player and No. 4 overall for its NBA mock draft. Anthony Black, a fellow Razorback signee, is currently the No. 5 overall pick for the 2023 NBA Mock Draft for NBA Draft Room and the No. 9 overall pick for CBS Sports, while ESPN has him listed as No. 12 and Arkansas signee Jordan Walsh at No. 21. Walsh is the projected No. 22 pick by CBS Sports.
As a two-time MaxPreps Arkansas High School Player of the Year and a two-time Arkansas Democrat Gazette All-Arkansas Preps Player of the Year, Smith joins Corliss Williamson as the only Razorbacks to be selected as National High School player of the Year. In 1992, Williamson earned the honor, selected by Gatorade.
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