PREP BASKETBALL: ‘Cherish every moment’: Fairview’s Sadie Smith talks junior season

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Fairview’s Sadie Smith. (Katie Drummond/The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. — Fairview junior basketball player Sadie Smith missed last season with an injury but was still able to make plenty of memories and learn several great lessons alongside her teammates and coaches.

“Last season, we faced a lot of adversity with many of our players sustaining various injuries. Despite not having a successful season and considering the unexpected obstacles we faced, I felt like we stuck together and pushed through,” Smith said. “The injury has changed my perspective, not only in basketball, but in life. This is a tough injury, mentally and physically, but I am so thankful for the support from my coaches, teammates, and family. It has taught me to be thankful every time I step on the court and always give 100% in everything I do, because you never know what life might throw at you. I have grown and gained knowledge from a player standpoint and also as a person from supporting my team from the sideline.”

Sadie is hopeful to get cleared to play basketball at the end of July and when that time comes, it’ll be one of the best days of her life. She talked about her experience playing for coach Justin Billings and what she learned from him.

“The thought of playing with my teammates again is something that pushes me every day. I know the second I step on the court with them, I will be filled with excitement and happiness to finally be doing what I’ve been working towards,” Smith said. “I played for coach Billings for four years. He is an amazing person who truly loves coaching, the game of basketball, and his players. He helped shape me as a person and as a player; he has always been there for me whenever I needed something. He poured in countless hours to our program and our community and brought a sense of family that we will continue to uphold. I will miss his competitive spirit and his will to win, as well as how he never gave up on his team or his players. He always tried to encourage us and help us take away something positive, even after a loss.”

Sadie has been so blessed to play alongside some great seniors and took away so much from them, including Emma Garcia and Jaycee Aleman. Sadie is one of five seniors on this team and will look to make next season very memorable for not only the seniors, but for the younger players as well.

“I’m very thankful I have had the opportunity to play alongside and create friendships with many great seniors. They have taught me many things on and off the court, including how to be a good teammate, no matter what your role on the team is. Emma and Jaycee were amazing players and people. I am very thankful for all the times I was able to spend with them. Our team will miss them greatly this season,” she said. “All five of the seniors on our team have played together since the second grade. We are all looking forward to this upcoming season and hope we can help the other girls on the team have one of the most memorable and enjoyable seasons.”

Sadie will work on some things once she gets cleared to practice and has some goals set for this upcoming season. She thinks the 2024-25 season will be a very special one for the Lady Aggies.

“When I get cleared, I am going to put in a lot of extra time outside of practice into conditioning, building strength, and skill work,” she said. “My individual goals are to just be able to compete again and be the best that I can be, while helping my team in any way so that we can be successful. Our team hopes to have a successful season and compete at a high level. We have great team chemistry, and we are very balanced with a lot of interchangeable pieces. We will always play hard and fight to win, no matter the challenge. Each and every player is an important piece that will help us to be a successful team.”

Sadie talked about one of her role models that she looks up to, plus the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“I have several role models, but Daisy Manasco is one that comes to mind. She made me feel welcome as an underclassman and was always there for me. She always had a positive attitude, no matter what happened, and played as hard as she could, no matter what,” she said. “Some of the best advice that I was ever given was from my parents. They told me to cherish every moment and to give it my all, because you will never get that time back.”

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