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November 07, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-07

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8A - Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

ASKET BALL 2013PREVIEW
For transfer Smith, journey is a family thing

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By MAX COHEN willing to wait, believing her dif- shot
Daily Sports Writer ferences with the coaching staff pare
were irreconcilable. North Caro- then
nnon Smith had a visitor. lina declined comment for this K
just gotten off of his plane story through a spokesperson. coac
cross the country. After the season, she decided he p
re the guest arrived, Shan- she would be leaving North Caro- unif
ow a newly added transfer lina. ers,
Michigan women's bas- Looking back, Shannon knows wou
team, found herself alone she needed to become more beta
ens, Texas, a small town mature to be able to handle set- insic
the country from her home, backs, but at the time, she felt like M
defeated. Not only was all she needed was a new oppor- incl
far away from Shannon's tunity. takir
and family, but the East Shannon and her parents did beco
town 75 miles southeast of their due diligence in the transfer Pistc
had little Shannon enjoyed. process. Their process led them later
re was one reason Shannon back to Michigan assistant coach In
Athens. In the town that Chester Nichols, who had recruit- him,
itself on its lush, rolling ed Shannon as an eighth grader Lan$
nd its annual fiddling con- when he was an assistant at West with
is Trinity Valley Commu- Virginia. Nichols had just joined Vita
llege. Michigan as an assistantcas part of Detr
women's basketball team new Michigan coach Kim Barnes elite
nity Valley bore six junior Arico's coaching staff. Shannon trad
national championships to wanted to join them at Michigan. of hi
se. It was a haven for young It looked as though everything close
looking to rise to the Divi- would turn out perfectly. Shan- play
evel. non would get to complete her eli- havi
, Shannon sat in Athens gibility with coaches she liked at a Inst
aplating her future. Days school she wanted to go to. Vita
arriving, Shannon wasn't But Michigan didn't have the ning
he wanted to be there. She scholarship availability for Shan- W
me to play basketball dur- non to come right in and play. dissi
2012-13 season, to get her Either she could go play at a junior cry.
back on track. college for a year, or transfer to a
Shannon wanted none of different four-year school and sit
environment was nothing out for a year before continuing

, this defeat was little com-
d to what Kevin would feel in
months to come.
evin sobbed in Detroit Mercy
h Dick Vitale's office before
layed a minute in the Titan
orm. Surrounded by his play-
Vitale announced that he
ild be retiring from coaching
use of ulcers that plagued the
de of his mouth.
Many on the team, Kevin
uded, believed Vitale was
ng time off so that he could
'me the coach of the Detroit
ons, which he did one year
. They smelled betrayal.
less time than it had taken
to dribble upthe court against
sing Everett, Kevin's future
the program had evaporated.
le was the reason he came to
oit. Kevin held offers from
programs with decades of
ition during his senior year
igh school. He had come very
e to attending Michigan, to
in a big program known for.
ng winning expectations.
ead, he decided to play for
le and help forge a new win-
expectation.
rith Vitale gone and a dream
ipated, all Kevin could do was

like she was used to. There were her Division I career. Thirty-five years later, Kevin
curfew rules that were foreign to At first, Shannon was skeptical got off his flight to Texas and
her, and Athens didn't excite her of taking the junior college route. went straight to Athens to speak
in the least. The closest mall was "I was really against it at first, to his daughter. She was contem-
an hour away. I did not want to do that at all," plating quitting basketball, but he
Shannon had faced enough Shannon said. thought he could show her what
obstacles to this point. These new Now Shannon had made her was best.
ones tested her limits. She told decision, but among Athens' roll- "A parent only wants their,
Trinity Valley coach Elena Lovato ing hills and isolation, she won- child to be happy," Kevin said. "I
that she was considering quitting dered where she had gone wrong. knew my daughter wasn't happy."
the sport, so Lovato offered to And she asked herself: should I Once he arrived in Athens, he
give her four days off. She could give up the sport? reminded her of how much she
get away from the game, some- loved basketball, how much the
thing she hadn't had the opportu- *** game had meant to her through-
nity to do in years. out her whole life. He told her she
Once an elite recruit headed Thirty-five years earlier, Kevin needed to grow up to be the best
to her home state's school, North Smith broke down and cried. person she could be. He told her
Carolina, after a star career at The young man who had given she was staying at Trinity Valley
Gastonia Forestview High School, Earvin "Magic" Johnson a run for the year, whether she played
Shannon never thought she'd end for his money just months earlier basketball or not.
up here. Basketball had become in a Class A 1977 Michigan high- "He is harder on me than any-
complicated for the 2010 Miss school state championship game one I know," Shannon said. "He
Basketball in North Carolina. for the ages had nothing left. He doesn't care if it hurts my feelings.
When she committed to the Tar felt betrayed. He's always been supportive. He
Heels, Shannon's future seemed Kevin had never been scared pushes me to be great, even if I
bright in Chapel Hill. of defeat. With three seconds left don't want to hear it."
"I love their campus and, of in regulation in that game against - Kevin knew that Shannon
course, their coaching staff and Johnson and Lansing Everett couldn't stop playing. In his own
players," she told ESPN. "We had High School with his Birming- career, he had felt the hardship of
chemistry from the beginning." ham Brother Rice team down by transferring.
Shannon's early chemistry with two points, Kevin stared defeat in After the meeting in Vitale's
the Tar Heel coaching staff was the eyes and whisked it away with office, Kevin knew that Detroit
short-lived. She felt as though, no cool confidence. was not his future, yet he could
matter how hard she worked off Defeat didn't scare Kevin as he not fully make it his past. He knew
the court, she wasn't getting the caught the inbound pass, slipped he had to play out the season, and
playing time she deserved on it. by his defender and hoisted the he did, battling through a fresh-
After redshirting her first year in game-tying shot from just steps man season that was not played
2010-11 because of lingering ill- in front of the block 'M' at half under the circumstances he imag-
ness, her redshirt freshman year court. Defeat wasn't an option ined when he committed.
seemed like a constant struggle when the shot glanced off the "I knew that I would still have
for playing time. backboard squarely in the middle options, so I just worked hard
She was assured that if she of the box before gracefully drop- that year and made freshman All-
worked harder, the playing time ping through the cylinder. Defeat American," Kevin said.
would come. Yet her playing time didn't cross his mind when the Despite struggling with inju-
remained relatively stagnant, Crisler Arena crowd showered ries, he was the fourth-leading
much to her chagrin. him with adulation. scorer on that Detroit team,
Shannon was repeatedly told Though Kevin only temporar- averaging eight points per game.
that she was only a freshman, ily delayed defeat that day after Though he experienced success,
that playing time would come if Brother Rice couldn't capitalize in when the season ended he knew
she kept working hard. She wasn't overtime on the momentum of his he wanted to get out. The program
wasn't the one he committed to
with Vitale gone.
THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS With his future up in the air,his
presents high-school rival from the 1977
championship game convinced
Is the Financial Industry Now him where his future belonged.

Johnson suggested Kevin trans-
fer to Michigan State. Kevin was
convinced and transferred there
in fall 1978.
Kevin arrived in East Lansing
knowing he'd be limited to prac-
tice that year. He couldn't play. He
worked with the team every day
while his teammates put together
a memorable season.
"It was very difficult watching
your teammates play, knowing
you can contribute," Kevin said.
The Johnson-led Spartans
reached the pinnacle of the sport
in one of the most memorable col-
lege basketball games of all time,
winning the 1979 national cham-
pionship over Indiana State and
its star, Larry Bird.
Kevin was forced to watch
from the sidelines, itching to play
each day. After the 1979 season,
he experienced great success in
his final three years at Michigan
State, becoming a team captain
and two-time All-Big Ten player.
But no matter the success he
would later achieve, Kevin would
always remember how helpless he
felt watching his teammates com-
pete without him.
With that in mind, he knew the
worst was behind Shannon. If she
worked hard and stuck with bas-
ketball, she could achieve great
things.
Shannon's teammates pitched
in to make sure Shannon stayed
on the team. Thoughshe had lived
with them for a few days, she
had previously felt a world apart.
Many of them had been at Trinity
Valley for the summer, while she
had just arrived. They all made
one thing clear: they wanted
Shannon on their team.
Lovato echoed their messages
when she spoke to Shannon. She
cared about Shannon, and she
wanted her to succeed at Trinity
Valley.
At the end of her four days off,
Shannon told Lovato she wanted
to keep playing basketball.
Once she made her intentions
clear, Shannon was determined
to succeed at Trinity Valley. Her
mother, Ramada, would text her
about Cam Newton and made her
learn about his experiences. Shan-
non learned of Newton's mindset
while he attended Blinn College,
a junior college in Texas about an
hour drive from Athens. Newton
viewed his time at junior college
as a business trip, a philosophy
Shannon would adopt.
She did everything she could
at Trinity Valley to ensure that
she would one day be back on top,
just like Newton did when he left
junior college to win the Heisman
Trophy and a national champion-
ship at Auburn. Trinity Valley, she
decided, would just be a blip in the
road on her way to success.
Things changed once Shannon
fully committed herself to her
team's success at Trinity Valley.
Once the season started, the vic-
tories piled up on the court. Off
the court, Shannon was becoming
a new person as well. Her team-
mates became her closest friends,
or as she calls them, her family.
Time not spent in the gym was
spent with them, whether getting
dinner at Applebee's or watching
movies at Athens' lone movie the-
ater. Her business trip was a new
life experience.
"I think that's when the whole
dynamic of our group changed,

0
TRACY KO/Daily
Junior guard Shannon Smith was Miss Basketball in North Carolina, but herjour-
ney took her to a junior college before transferring to Michigan for this season.
when Shannon decided to share the Most Valuable Player of the
herself," Lovato said. tournament.
Shannon's newfound leader- "The growth she showed over
ship showed on the court. Her that one-year timespan was prob-
team didn't lose a game it played ably more than any other kid I've
(its only loss was the result of ever coached," Lovato said.
a forfeit), and Shannon went Her transformational season
through it all with a smile. at Trinity Valley was complete.
"She was the life of the locker She had gone from a girl who
room," Lovato said. "I think that struggled to deal with adversity
they really respected her because to a woman who conquered it. She
she was so talented on the floor. loved basketball again, and bas-
They looked up to her, my fresh- ketball finally loved her back.
men did." As the clock hit zero in the
While many of Shannon's pre- 83-71 victory in the champion-
vious plans didn't unfold the way ship game, Shannon Smith broke
she could've hoped, her time at down and cried.
Trinity Valley couldn'thave ended Then, she talked to Kevin and
more perfectly. Shannon led her said three words.
team to the NJCAA national "We did it."
championship game, where she
scored 14 points and dished out R Read more women's basketball
five assists before being named previews at MichiganDaily.com

STAFF PICKS
The Daily women's
basketball writers
do their best
to predict what will
happen in the world of
women's college
basketball this season.

Max
Cohen

Alexa Lev
Dettelbach Facher

Snanon
Lynch

Deutsche Bank Securites The CarlyleGroup Decision Economics
Five years since the financial crisis of autumn 2008 is a good time to
take stock of the reform of financial regulation. The Dodd-Frank Act
of 2010 enacted the most significant changes to financial regulation in
the U.S. since the Great Depression. The international standards in
Basel III, being implemented in stages, were designed to strengthen
bank capital requirements by increasing bank liquidity and decreasing
bank leverage. But have these new regulations really strengthened the
system? And how do these changes, along with unprecedented monetary
policy, affect the risk and expected return of stocks and bonds looking
ahead? A panel of distinguished experts will discuss these issues and
respond to questions from the audience.
Friday, November 8, 2013
12-1 pm, 140Lorch Hall (Askwith Auditorium)
rGA :'" I OMf .Ii

Michigan regular-season record 12-17 14-15 13-16 13-16
Big Ten champion Penn State Michigan State Nebraska Michigan State
BitTen second place Nebraska Nebraska Penn State Penn State
Big Ten third place Michigan State Penn State Michigan State Nebraska
BigTen MVP Maggie Lucas, Guard, Penn State Lucas Lucas Lucas
BgTen Coach of the Year Coquese Washington, Penn State Kevin McGuff, Ohio State Suzy Merchant, Michigan State Connie YuriNebraska
Big Ten surprise team Ohio State Wisconsin Northwestern Ohio State
Michigan MVP Shannon Smith Smith Smith Smith
National Player of the Year Chiney Ogwumike. 'Staford Ogwumike Breanna Stewart, Connecticut Ogwumike
Michigan's season ends here Big Ten Tournament BigTen Tournament Big Ten Tournament Big Ten Touamr nt
NCAA Final Four Duke California Connecticut Stanford
Connecticut Connecticut Louisville Louisville
Stanford Louisville Duke Duke
Kentucky Stanford Maryland Tennessee

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