PIPPA PASSES, Ky. (WYMT) - Clay County and Alice Lloyd College standout Blake Smith signed with Michael Stinnett and Free Agency Basketball. Stinnett has coached all around the Commonwealth.
"Coach Stinnett, he seems to be a real good Christian man," Smith said on his decision to sign with Free Agency Basketball. "He has Christian values and that's something I like, so kinda hit home with that."
"The Mountain Mamba" had quite the high school and college careers. He scored 1,703 career points at Clay County. He was a part of the Tigers' 13th Region championship teams in 2013 and 2014.
"I was actually talking to my dad one day, and he was like, 'Man you play like a really, really poor man's Kobe, like really, really poor man. Like Great Value brand Kobe,' Smith explained. "And I was like yeah. And we were sitting in Rodney Lipson's class and he called the P.A. man, Nathan at the time and he was like 'Mountain Mamba, let's call him Mountain Mamba,' and it just kinda stuck from there."
After finishing his career in Manchester, Smith took his talents to Pippa Passes with Alice Lloyd. He finished his career with 2,304 points. Smith's accolades include NAIA Division II All-American, NCCAA Division I First Team All-American, First Team River States Conference team and the NCCAA Mid-East Regional Player of the Year.
"Alice Lloyd was a great fit for me, and I think where it was close, that was a big factor in it," Smith said about his decision to head to Pippa Passes.
Smith is in the same boat as every other athlete, trying to figure out a way to stay in shape despite the closing of gyms due to COVID-19.
"Before all this started, I just had keys to the gym. I'd just go to the gym, get a couple hours in by myself. Now it's just everything's from home."
However long the wait might be, Smith hopes to be to fulfill his dream and play the game he loves.
"It wouldn't matter to me if I was the only person left and I was over there playing just me. I just love basketball."