The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

August 1, 2013

OSU's Marcus Smart plays his options

STILLWATER, Okla. — Sounding like a college kid who had just been awakened after a long night of studying for finals, Marcus Smart is spending the last few weeks before the new school year catching up on rest and relaxation.

Reached by telephone recently, Smart is enjoying his final moments of freedom before the pressures of the season and the Oklahoma State program weigh on his 19-year-old shoulders.

“It feels good to be able to get somewhat of a break,” Smart said. “It’s been a long summer, playing with the USA team over in the Czech Republic for that amount of time, going to the NBA mini-camp, it’s just been a real long summer of basketball. It’s going to be some good rest for my body.”

The rest is well-deserved, too.

For the second straight summer, Smart has been busy traveling the world and playing basketball.

Smart was a member of the USA Basketball Men’s U19 team that traveled to Prague, Czech Republic, for the FIBA U19 World Championships. Smart led the team to the United States’ second gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships since 1995.

“It’s a great experience. Not many 18- or 19-year-old kids can say they did that,” the Oklahoma State sophomore said. “A lot of people would trade places with me any day. It was just an incredible experience getting to do that.”

Smart admitted the summer schedule heading into college might have played a part in him at times looking and playing sluggish during the season — although it didn’t hinder his ability to earn Big 12 Conference Freshman and Player of the Year honors and get the program back to the NCAA Tournament.

But he said the work and travel this summer won’t grind on him as much as a year ago.

“Last year I wasn’t really used to it and with going to college for the first year, my body wasn’t really used to all that stress,” Smart said. “But this year I’ve got a little more of a break in between before we actually start back up and my body is used to it now and knows what it feels like. This break is going to help my in a major way because it gives my body that break that it needs for all the stress it’s been under. So I don’t feel I’ll be as worn down as I was last year.”

After winning gold in Prague as the team captain, Smart received recognition on a higher level.

With two gold medals under his belt, the Flower Mound, Texas, native was one of just two college players to earn an invitation to attend USA Basketball Men’s National Team Mini-Camp — along with Creighton’s Doug McDermott.

At the mini-camp, Smart went up against players already established in the NBA — including point guards Kyrie Irving, the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year and John Wall, 2011 NBA All-Rookie first-teamer.

“You learn a lot out there. You see what they go through every day with the competition and how they perform on a daily basis,” he said. “It really just helps you in the long run.”

Smart also garnered some press during his trip to Las Vegas for something he said about his future.

In an interview, the OSU sophomore stated if he stays healthy this season, it would be his last at Oklahoma State.

“I was just answering a question, honestly. It was kind of obvious though,” Smart said about the comment. “I stayed another year to give myself another year to get ready for the next level.”

With it already out there that he plans to enter his name for the 2014 NBA Draft, Smart hopes it will be one less distraction during the season.

“I feel that this will squash a lot of those questions that people keep asking me about it,” Smart said. “They know now, and hopefully they won’t continually ask me. I feel like establishing that will take a little bit of that pressure off me.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Moving In? Indoor football coming back to Enid?

    Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers manager Mark Timberlake are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • OU logo color.jpg Probe into incident involving Mixon could last into next week

    The Norman Police investigation into the incident at Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe in which Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is an “involved party” could continue into next week.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Morris Claiborne Claiborne wants to prove worth to Dallas

    Morris Claiborne had already told reporters he was ready to prove he was worthy of Dallas’ dramatic move up the draft board to get him with the sixth overall pick in 2012. He didn’t waste any time showing some urgency.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Tebow NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Attorney: OU's Mixon acted in self defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon said the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 29, 2014

  • OSU no longer faces APR restrictions

    NCAA officials say Oklahoma State’s football program no longer faces restrictions for the upcoming school year because its Academic Progress Rate has been amended.

    July 29, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-30-14

    July 29, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Rice's punishment hardly fit the crime

    Two games, just over 12 percent of the 16-game regular season. Two games for hitting a woman hard enough to knock her out cold.
    Rice said Monday he will not appeal his suspension, which could wind up costing him $529,411 in fines and salary. And why wouldn’t he? He must feel like he got off scot-free.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SamBradfordpicturejpeg Bradford used to being at 'career crossroads'

    It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford.
    Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • TU wins C-USA academic honor

    The University of Tulsa earned the 2013-14 Conference USA Institutional Excellence award by posting the highest grade point average during the 2013-14 academic year for all student athletes in conference-sponsored athletes, the school announced on Monday.

    July 28, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos


Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at http://enidnews.smugmug.com.