Greensboro Day’s Freddy Johnson hits his match in Oak Hills Steve Smith | HSXtra | Greensboro Excessive Faculty Sports activities
“The gamers would drop by at night, hang out, watch TV and play with my kids when they were growing up,” says Smith, whose son and daughter are now in their late 30s. “It was a nice place to start a family.”
Smith and his wife Lisa moved off campus in 2004 and built a log cabin about 5 miles away, but their lives still revolve around Oak Hill.
“We’re primarily a school,” says Smith, a native of Wilmore, Kentucky. “We’ve been here since 1878. We were a school before basketball was invented, and that’s a little different from some of those pop-up places that are out there now.”
While at Oak Hill, Smith has coached more than 100 Division I players and 29 NBA drafts, including Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo and Jerry Stackhouse. He has had many opportunities to go to high-profile schools or colleges for jobs.
“I’m glad I stayed,” he says. “Our basketball program is a fraternity. We have people who have played here for all the years that I’ve now coached their sons because they sent their kids to Oak Hill. I went to their weddings. I enjoyed this part as much as the coaching part. “
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Smith wonders about the future of a high school game where elite players rarely spend four years in the same program, which is one of the reasons his Warriors joined the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference, a league with seven other like-minded schools, theirs 38 conference games this season will be televised by the ESPN networks.