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Smothers’ determination carries him to Lassen College basketball

By Carter Eckl ceckl@nevadaappeal.com
Nate Smothers of Carson High drives past a Hug defender this past winter. Smothers will continue his basketball career at Lassen College next season after signing his National Letter of Intent on Monday.
Jeff Mulvihill, Jr./instaimage.com

Hustle and determination have carried Nate Smothers through high school basketball.

Since he’s been in middle school, playing hoops collegiately has always been a dream for the outgoing Senator senior.

Monday, Smothers made that dream a reality by putting pen to paper and signing his National Letter of Intent with Lassen College in Susanville, California.

Approximately two hours north of Carson, Smothers will not only get to pursue the next steps of his basketball career, but will also get to stay relatively close to home.

The senior captain for Carson hoops this past winter, Smothers said getting cut in middle school started to fan the competitive flames.

“I just really started to grind. That’s when I told myself that I really wanted to become a basketball player,” said Smothers.

By the time he was playing junior varsity basketball as a sophomore, Smothers gained the confidence in his own game to start thinking about college basketball as a reality.

While any faithful Senator basketball fan could explain Smothers’ tenacity on the floor, the impressions he made on his high school head coach showed that his drive was more than just on the hardwood.

Carson High head coach Jordan Glover said Smothers was the first player he met when he stepped onto Carson’s campus.

A couple years later, it was Smothers’ Senior Night performance against Douglas that solidified his character in Glover’s mind.

“The night of the Douglas game, … Nate was sick as a dog,” said Glover. “Barely could keep his eyes open. I said, ‘are you going to be able to play?’ His response was, ‘coach, tonight is my night. Nothing will stop me. Let’s go win this.’ … I’ll never forget that.”

It wasn’t just confident chatter from Smothers either, who dropped a team-high 19 points – including eight in the overtime period that led to a 58-51 win and secured a Senator postseason berth.

“It feels amazing,” said the newest Lassen commit, who averaged 11.8 points per game in his final season with Carson. “All the hard work and effort I’ve put in. My friends and family have always been supportive and it feels great to take a step forward and follow my dream.”

Smothers said one of the biggest reasons he chose Lassen College was receiving constant positive feedback from the coaching staff in Susanville.

Smothers says his dream is to continue his basketball career as far as he possibly can, but while in the classroom at Lassen, Smothers says his plan is to study psychology.

Next winter, Smothers will join the Cougars in the Golden Valley Conference where the second-team all-Sierra League player at Carson will look to continue showing his determination on the floor.