Marietta's Smith heading to South Carolina State

John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.
·2 min read

Apr. 16—Just over a month ago, Ajia Smith had the chance to celebrate winning a state championship as part of the Marietta girls basketball team.

On Thursday, she decided on a college program to chase championships with.

Smith committed to continue her basketball career at South Carolina State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

"I would like to begin by thanking God for placing me in the position to play basketball for the past 11 years," Smith tweeted. "Basketball has truly been a blessing through many remarkable moments and the ups and downs. I always knew God was constantly by my side every step of the way.

"Second, I would like to thank my mother, my family and my trainer, Coach Kelvin, for helping me on this journey. Special thanks to Marietta for everything you've done for me, I will always be a Blue Devil!

"Third, I would like to than my high school and AAU coaches for helping me reach my goals and to the college coaches who showed interest and provided me with scholarships to play at their school.

"Finally, I would like to announce that I will further my education while playing collegiate basketball at South Carolina State University!"

The 5-foot-9 forward will try to help Audra Smith turn the South Carolina State program around. The Bulldogs went 3-27 during the 2018-19 season and followed it by going 1-9 last season before halting the remainder of their schedule at the end of January because of concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

Smith was a key role player for Marietta over the last two seasons. As a senior, she averaged 3.0 points and 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. She had season highs of 10 points against Mundy's Mill and 11 points against River Ridge. She pulled down 10 rebounds against Hiram.

As Marietta won all five of its playoff games by a combined total of 14 points, Smith made key shots against Pebblebrook, Parkview, Cherokee and McEachern during the tournament run.