SMNW

For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship

Damare Smith and his team made the journey to Florida and took everyone by surprise.

Erin Dory

Erin Dory

Abigail Rosales and Sarah Milks

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Earbuds in, basketball in hand, freshman Damare Smith prepares himself for one of the most important tournaments of the season.

Smith’s team, Drive5 Power Elite, was selected to represent the central region in a tournament run by the Junior National Basketball Association (JNBA). For the first time this summer, the JNBA chose eight teams, one from each region in the United States, to play in the JNBA World Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. Smith’s team was selected after qualifying earlier this summer when they won the Central Region tournament.

“The JNBA is a welcoming environment and an amazing experience,” Smith said.

Drive5 made the journey to Florida and took everyone by surprise. They were unstoppable, defeating every team in their path. The final game was against the team representing Africa and the Middle East.

“We never expected to make it this far, but when we did we knew as a team we wanted to win,” Smith said. “When the game was over we all cried. we couldn’t believe it. We had won.”

Smith’s basketball career started at the age of six. Winning the JNBA World Championships is just one stop on his basketball path. He hopes to play in college and eventually follow his role model, Derrick Rose.

“It seems really fun to be able to make it that far in your career,” Smith said. “It’s all about the passion . I love to play.”

The JNBA has opened up many opportunities for Smith’s basketball future, but to him basketball isn’t as important as the way he portrays himself on and off the court.

“I love basketball, but I have to be humble, stay hungry for the game and just go out every day rather it be life or a game and win.” Smith said.

Smith is passionate about basketball and being a part of a team. Before playing, he listens to music, stretches, warms up and gets a couple shots in before the game.

“It’s all about how you warm up,” Smith said. “If I warm up great, I normally will have a good game.”

Smith plays at the point guard position. While in Orlando, Smith got the chance to meet point guard and shooting guard Dwyane Wade and shooting guard and small forward Vince Carter. They both gave some words of advice to the players.

“They told me to go out there and do my best every game.” Smith said “It sounds cliché, but coming from a person I look up to, it means a lot.”

Next year Smith hopes his team will return to Orlando to claim another trophy.

“I think they want us to come back.” Smith said. “It should be fun.”

Although Smith is passionate about basketball, what stands out the most is the environment around him during those 48 minutes on the court.  

“The fans, the environment, the culture.” Smith said. “Just the love for the game.”

About the Writers
Abigail Rosales, Writer

Hi, this is my first year on staff, I am a writer and a sophomore. I like to write different types of topics and I hope I get people’s attention with my stories. And I’m also a Novice Debater.

Sarah Milks, Staff Writer

Hi! I am a sophomore and this is my first year as a staff writer for the NW Passage. Outside of newspaper, I am a part of KUGR, Student Council, and play softball. Softball is my life. A normal day in my life consists of school followed by long hours spent at my softball facility then I squeeze in homework. I hope to play softball at the college level.

I love talking to people and getting to know the people around me. That’s why I love newspaper, I am able to get to know why athletes play the sport they do and what they are thinking while they are under the stress of the game.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship

    Sports

    Joe Bultman wins the top award in golf

  • For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship

    Sports

    17 Minutes to Think

  • Sports

    Keeping up with Fall Sports

  • For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship

    Cross Country

    Leaving a Legacy

  • Baseball

    The Baseball Season has Begun

  • Announcements

    Students sign letters of intent

  • For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship

    Features

    Two of a Kind

  • For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship

    Cross Country

    Rim Rockin’ It

  • For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship

    Boys' Soccer

    Failure to Execute

  • For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship

    Fall Sports

    Football Midseason Summary

The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest
For The Passion: Freshman Damare Smith wins Junior NBA World Championship