Feb 222005
 
Authors: Laura Epple

Vital Stats:

Name: Jason Victor Smith

Alias: Stix, J-Dub

Hometown: Kersey, Colorado

Height: 7' 7"

Weight: 215 lbs

Position: Forward

He frequents Rockwell Hall by day, taking classes like any normal student at CSU. He has aspirations to one day be a "business man" and drive a "lifted-up Dodge Ram, pimped out, very nice."

He can be seen emulating the alter ego of his favorite superhero, former nuclear physicist Dr. Robert Bruce Banner. He exudes a self-described sense of energy, intensity and savvy, even when away from his element.

This only intensifies as night falls and a metamorphosis occurs. Freshman forward Jason Smith emerges from the shadows to dominate foes at Moby Arena as though he were his much-loved Incredible Hulk. His 7-foot frame impels him into double-digit scoring games and Mountain West Conference records, despite the fact that he is only a freshman.

For instance, Smith has scored in double figures in 11 of the past 23 games, almost attaining his second double-double of the season on Monday night. He scored 15 points in the game and grabbed nine rebounds to help keep the game close with the UNLV Rebels.

Smith comes from a long history of making heroic contributions on the court. At Platte Valley High School, he set school records in career blocked shots, scoring consecutive successful free throws and blocked shots in a game. He was a two-time, all-state player of the year and was chosen all-conference and all-state for three years, and Most Outstanding Player in his senior year. Smith was also an All-Colorado selection in both his junior and senior seasons.

So far at CSU, Smith is scoring 10.3 points per game, first among freshmen in the conference. He also leads the Rams with 27 blocked shots, a figure that ranks third in MWC action. So what if the Hulk can lift 100 tons (when relaxed) and leap into earth's atmosphere? Can he juggle flame-lit bowling pins? (Smith's deep-dark, secret talent)

Just like the Hulk, Smith has experienced his share of growing pains. He is not green and doesn't spontaneously annihilate his wardrobes, but maturing into a 7-foot body has its share of difficulties.

"He went through quite a few pairs of shoes growing up," said Smith's mom, Roberta Smith. "It sure is nice now that we don't have to buy them."

Jason Smith also has to deal with a quite a bit of unwanted attention.

"I hate it when people ask me how tall I am if they are really short, or when they make me get stuff off of the top shelf," Smith said.

His height has also lent itself to some awkward moments on the court. While sitting on the sidelines for a game in high school, he jumped up to cheer on a teammate's first dunk attempt and nearly cracked his skull on the ceiling of the locker room entrance.

"He didn't even think about what he was doing," said his father, Jack Smith, of the incident.

Smith said that adjusting to college basketball is all about pace.

"It is very much a quicker pace," Smith said. "Quicker and more aggressive."

He does appreciate the fact that school is paid for but noted that he has zero time to do anything else.

"My time management has definitely had to increase. I have to be smart about it," Smith said.

In his civilian time, when he is not battling opposing foes in Moby, Smith listens to jams by 50 Cent, and especially enjoys the tune "In Da Club." He likes to read ESPN the Magazine, and Mexican food is his fuel of choice. He favors a pair of sweats as his favorite article of clothing and said that the only ritual he has before a game is a good night's sleep and eating right the night before a game.

Hence, while the Incredible Hulk may be able to breath under water and bullets bounce off of his high tensile-strength skin, Smith exudes superhero skills in his own way at Moby.

"I'm a big man who plays like a little man," Smith said.

His adversaries may see him in a different light for years to come as he regulates the paint by night and is all business by day.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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