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Getting to Know: Joe Smith

Joe Smith is a Sophomore who is a two-year player on the Penn Boys Basketball Varsity Team. He is a member of the Student-Athlete Leadership Council.
What was it Like playing Varsity as a freshman?: The first couple games were very nerve wracking, but as the season went on I settled into my role on the team. After I settled in, it was the same game I’ve been playing since I was little.
What do you do to motivate yourself?: To motivate myself, I think of my goals and I set reminders of those goals so I don’t forget what I am working for. It is also very motivating for me when I see someone else in a position where I want to be, whether that is watching my favorite player make a great play or seeing someone else around my age doing better than I am.
What do you do to prepare for a game?: For me, it is preparing myself mentally and physically. Mentally, I watch and break down film as I think of what I have to do to put my team in the best position to win. I’ll also bump to some rap to hype myself up, of course. Physically, I need to do things like hydrating, stretching, and having a good warmup.
What do you do to stay healthy?: I try to go on runs if I notice I am out of shape. For me, right now, it is important that I don’t skip any meals and maybe even add a couple, so I am not getting pushed around. Also, as I said before, staying hydrated and stretching very often and doing some yoga, too.
How do you overcome mistakes made during games?: This is something that I didn’t do very well at last year. “Next play!” I hear at all the time, but it is easier said than done. To get better at this, I have really focused on building my confidence by practicing and doing a lot of repetition. All the repetition gives me the confidence I need to move on from a bad play.
What is my main goal in life?: I would say my main goal in life is to make the people around me happy, so that I am also happy.
What made you choose to play basketball?: I grew up watching so much basketball. It was my favorite thing to do other than playing it. My dad is a coach, so he introduced me to the game at a very young age. I would watch his games. I would watch my sisters’ games. I’ve always loved participating in March Madness, as I watched every game I could of that, and I grew up watching Kobe with the Lakers, Lebron with the Cavs and then when he teamed up with Bosh and D-Wade with the Heat, D-Rose and the Bulls, and the Celtics with The Truth, KG, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo. It was also by far my favorite sport to play. I played football and soccer for my school team up through middle school, but I played basketball all year around and it is just what I love to do.
Who was your role model growing up?: My mother is my biggest role model, because she has taught me not to settle for average and to strive to be the best I can be at anything I do. 
How do you deal with negativity?: When people are negative toward me, they are either criticizing me or they are being pessimistic. If they are criticizing me, then I try to be real with myself and see if there is any truth to what they are saying to see if and what I need to improve. If what they are saying is false or they are just being pessimistic, then I just ignore their comments and prove them wrong through my actions.
What’s your favorite play in basketball?: My favorite basketball moment is when Kyrie Irving hit a fade away 3 at the end of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to help complete the 3-1 comeback of the Cavs against the Warriors.

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