Aug. 1, 2011
Laramie, Wyo. - University of Wyoming men's basketball coach Larry Shyatt announced Monday that Shakir Smith of Tucson, Ariz., has accepted a scholarship offer to play for the Cowboys. Smith will begin his UW career this fall.
"After having a chance to watch Shakir play this summer countless times in AAU tournaments, I thought he became a great fit for the Cowboys," Shyatt said. "I was very impressed in conversations with his mother and I found out what a fine family he has. Shakir gives us a great shooting touch from the perimeter with deep range and a long, wiry frame that can be beneficial as well. We're excited to have him join us and we look forward to seeing him in three weeks."
The six-foot-two Smith joins the Cowboys after a standout prep career under coach Gary Lewis at Tucson High School and coach Etop Udo-Ema with the AAU Compton (Calif.) Magic. An outstanding shooting guard, Smith helped the Badgers qualify for the state tournament his final two seasons. As a senior, he averaged more than 24 points, five assists and three steals per game. In the state tournament, Smith scored 32 points in a 68-60 loss to the No. 1 seed in the first round.
For his efforts, Smith was named First-Team All-Southern Arizona as a junior and senior by the Arizona Daily Star, while earning All-Southern Player of the Year both seasons also. ESPN's Scouts Grade on Smith was 77 out of a possible 100 points.
"He is just scratching the surface of how good he is going to be," Lewis said. "Being the only scorer on our team, it made it easier for opponents to concentrate on him. For him to average that many points, kind of gives you an idea what he's capable of. He has room to grow, but he has instincts that you just can't teach."
Smith started his AAU career with the Tucson Heat, but joined Compton after scoring 42 points against them in a tournament this spring. He spent his summer with the Magic, a national powerhouse, playing in several events, including the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas. Udo-Ema and Compton were the No. 1 ranked AAU team in the nation last season, and have a history of sending players to Division I institutions. Since playing for the Magic this summer, Smith has received interested from Texas Tech, California, Rhode Island and Nevada.
Smith also excelled on the football field, where he was a dual-threat quarterback. As a junior, he passed for 1,239 yards and added 563 on the ground to earn First-Team All-Southern Arizona honors. As a senior, he repeated first-team honors and was also named Second-Team All-State.