Savion the savior in Chester basketball season
With senior star Jack Weir struggling with injuries, the Chester High School boys basketball team needed someone to step up. Fellow senior Savion Smith was ready for the spotlight.
"Savion has been a big part of our team the last three years, but he really stepped up this year as a good leader and someone that was very consistent," Chester head coach Brad Norman told the SW Illinois News. “He brought toughness to our practices everyday and tried to make his teammates better every chance he got."
Smith led Chester in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game and knocking in 20-plus points seven times. He was also one of the team's better rebounders, averaging 6.2 per game, and filled up the defensive box, snagging 2.1 steals and averaging almost a block per game. He also averaged 2 assists per game, showing his willingness to get his teammates involved.
"Savion was our biggest offensive threat this year," Norman said. "He really worked on his game in the offseason and did a great job of leading us in just about every offensive statistical category ... . The main thing we were trying to improve offensively with Savion was his aggressiveness in attacking the rim. We also worked on being smarter on the defensive end so that he could stay on the floor more."
But Smith's biggest contribution this year was that of leader. According to Norman, Smith never missed a practice, was never late and always did his best to lead his teammates by example. Those same qualities are likely to make him successful at the next level, when the two-sport star goes on to play football at either McKendree University in Lebanon or Blackburn College in Carlinville.
"Savion was an awesome player to watch develop," Norman said. "When he found his confidence, he turned into one of the best players to come through Chester. He was MVP of the Trico Tournament, All-Tournament at the Chester Invitational Tournament, and he was also named to the All-Conference Black Diamond team, receiving the third-most votes. He has been a big part of Chester's success the past few years and will be greatly missed."
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