There isn’t a more hyped player entering college basketball this season than Dennis Smith Jr. of NC State. It’s rare to see a freshman attend ACC Operation Basketball — the league’s annual media kickoff event. However, there Smith was in Charlotte on Wednesday, representing the Wolfpack along with Mark Gottfried and Abdul-Malik Abu.
Down in Charlotte, Smith joined The David Glenn Show to discuss a variety of topics, including why the Fayetteville, N.C. product chose to play basketball so close to home: “I liked the staff on the Wolfpack a lot. I had a better relationship with the staff on the Wolfpack, compared to the other schools. The relationship was great. So I figured, why not go to NC State.”
Smith’s dreamed of playing in the NBA since he was a kid, and he began to idolize another Tobacco Road legend, Wake Forest star point guard Chris Paul. He also discussed what it feels like to be mentioned as the potential top pick in next year’s NBA Draft: “It’s exciting; it’s a blessing, and it’s humbling. I’m thankful to be in the position I’m in. I had a major injury last year and to be recognized as a potential No. 1 pick — I’m thankful for that.”
You never know — a year from now, we could be watching Smith and Paul matchup against one another in the NBA. To hear Smith talk about his family, recovering from knee surgery and what he likes most about playing in the ACC, click below to listen to the full interview: