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Athlete of Week: Smith a ‘dream’ player to coach

Name: Halee Smith

School: Juniata Valley

Age: 18

Grade: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Athlete of the week achievement: Smith had 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, three rebounds and four assists in a blowout win over West Branch, and she had 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting with seven rebounds in a 65-50 victory over Bishop Guilfoyle.

Season update: Smith is averaging 21.5 points, 3.4 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 0.5 blocks for the 8-2 Lady Hornets.

Coach Rachelle Hopsicker’s quote: “Halee is a winner and has helped to change the culture of our basketball program here at Juniata Valley. Halee has the qualities coaches dream about in a player and a team captain and always shows appropriate behavior on and off the court. Halee is an amazing player with an extraordinary basketball IQ. Her personality is encouraging to all her teammates, and she is a role model that girls and boys from all over look up to. Her 32-point game against Bishop Guilfoyle was just another example of her ability to dominate games on both ends of the court. No one will outwork her. She is the ultimate team player.”

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Beach

Favorite subject: Organic chemistry

Favorite movie: “Harry Potter” series

Favorite food: Spaghetti

Favorite song: “Hall of Fame” by The Script

Outside interests: Spending time with family and friends

Favorite professional team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite college team: Quinnipiac University

Pro athlete most admired: Klay Thompson

Best athlete I ever competed against: State College’s Maya Bokunewicz

Most influential person on my athletic career: My parents, coaches and trainer Greg Simpson.

How I got my start in basketball: “I played at a community center in Huntingdon, and both of my parents coached me there.”

Future goal: Win the state championship

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