EMCC’s Smith tabbed Honorable Mention All-American


Three-time all-region, all-conference standout Jakorie Smith of East Mississippi Community College has added to his impressive list of accolades by earning honor­able mention honors on the 2021-22 NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball All-America Team. Selections were made by the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and announced this week by the national office headquar­tered in Charlotte, North Car­olina.

Smith, from Utica, averaged a team-leading and career-high 17.7 points per game this past season and also led the Lions with an average of 7.9 rebounds per contest to rank sixth and 10th, respec­tively, in the MACCC. In shooting 46 percent overall from the field along with posting career-best shooting percentages from three-point range (37%) and the charity stripe (85%), Smith helped lead the 21-7 Lions to their second conference tourna­ment championship in four years and a berth in the NJCAA Region 23 Tourna­ment quarterfinals. The 6-foot-6 forward capped his productive three-year EMCC career by pouring in a career-high 36 points during the Lions’ 76-73 overtime home loss to LSU Eunice in being named to this year’s NJCAA Region 23 All-Tournament team.

As a three-year starter in helping lead head coach Billy Begley’s EMCC Lions to a composite overall record of 48-22 (.686) and conference mark of 28-11 (.718), Smith scored 1,075 career points (15.8 ppg) along with totaling 548 rebounds (8.1 rpg), 97 as­sists, 96 steals and 39 blocked shots. His career shooting percentages were 47.4 per­cent overall from the field, 34.8 percent from beyond the three-point arc and 79.7 per­cent from the free throw line. Smith also recorded 21 career double-doubles during his 68-game EMCC playing career.

Coming out of Raymond High School in 2019 as a member of three Class 4A state championship teams, Smith averaged 15.2 points and a career-high 8.4 re­bounds per contest as an EMCC freshman. He then av­eraged 13.3 points and 7.7 re­bounds an outing during the pandemic-altered 2020-21 season to repeat as a first-team member of the confer­ence’s All-North Division squad.

Having taken advantage of the NJCAA’s COVID-19 ruling that granted student-athletes an extra year of collegiate el­igibility due to the coron­avirus pandemic, Smith returned to the Scooba cam­pus for the 2021-22 season and capped his EMCC career by garnering NJCAA All-Re­gion 23 and All-MACCC First Team honors for the third consecutive year in advance of this year’s All-America recognition.

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