AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - 11-year old Amarillo native Christian Smith loves basketball.
“I enjoy, I like my teammates,” Smith said. “Basketball is a fun thing. I used to play football and track, but I didn’t like it that much. Basketball was my favorite.”
Smith has a simple goal that goes with his passion for the game.
“To win Randall a state title, because they haven’t won one since they’ve been open,” Smith said.
After that, he plans on attending Oklahoma University to play Division I Basketball, and then, it’s onto the NBA.
“It’s a dream come true, odds stacked up against you, especially coming out of a town like Amarillo,” Christian’s father, Chris Smith said. “We don’t get a lot of recognition around here, so for him to achieve a goal, that he’s made, it will be amazing."
Christian Smith plays on an AAU basketball team that travels far and wide to compete in various basketball tournaments. He also goes to special showcases around the country to show off his skills and improve as a player. No matter how intense the competition is though, pressure doesn’t exist for the future star.
“Feels normal, I mean there’s some challenges and there’s some easy games, but whatever games you play, you have to play your hardest,” Christian said.
That lack of pressure comes from the fact that he’s built up an enormous amount of confidence.
“Oh man, it’s been crazy. It’s been 360,” Chris said. “When he first started with his current team that he’s on now, the Amarillo Bulldogs, he wasn’t the best. At one point, he was pretty close to getting cut from the team, but from the moment he broke down and came to me and was like ‘Dad, I wanna be a part of the team and be good,’ that’s when I made my mind. It’s time to work, it’s time to get busy, it’s time to train, so we dedicated everyday almost to his training, and hard work pays off.”
Because of all the work Christian puts in, it’s allowed him to become one of the future stars of the Amarillo area.
“Oh man, some of the stuff he does is amazing,” Chris said of Christian’s game. “To be 11-years old, his IQ of basketball is probably higher than a high-schooler. I mean, it’s unreal, he can read the court. The passes he makes, I mean he sees things develop before they ever develop, so his readings are off the chart to be so young already.”