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When Robert Smith made Leonard Thomas his first rent as head coach at Simeon, they talked about targets.
“What we wished to do was to have the ability to win probably the most metropolis championships, probably the most state championships and win 500 video games,” Smith mentioned Tuesday after reaching that milestone.
In his nineteenth and remaining season main the Wolverines, Smith has seven Public League championships, six state titles and 500 wins after an 82-36 romp previous visiting Brooks.
“I imply, we have been simply speaking about this in dialog,” Smith mentioned of these excessive targets. “We didn’t know if it’d come to fruition and be actual.”
However the first win got here in his first sport — which additionally was Derrick Rose’s varsity debut — towards Thornwood at Curie again in 2004. Since then, the victories have are available in bunches whereas the losses (94 now) have been few and much between.
Smith succeeded teaching legend Bob Hambric, who went 546-136 with one state title in 24 seasons. Hambric was on Smith’s thoughts these days.
“He gave me an opportunity to even be capable of do that,” Smith mentioned. “Lots of the stuff that I did over my profession has been simply to make him proud. I’m fairly positive he’s pleased with this second proper now for me.”
Smith, whose crew is 20-1 and ranked No. 1, is chasing another metropolis title and another state championship. So whereas there have been photograph alternatives and commemorative T-shirts at hand out after Tuesday’s win, there additionally was extra trying forward than trying again.
“I in all probability received’t be capable of actually get pleasure from this till it’s throughout,” Smith mentioned. “You say you wish to accomplish issues after which they arrive. … When this complete factor is over and I get an opportunity to take a seat again and debrief, I’ll be like, ‘Whoa, I used to be capable of in order that.’”
That Smith was capable of attain all these milestones at his alma mater makes it that a lot sweeter.
“It’s an honor to even be capable of coach right here at this faculty, and to have the ability to coach within the Public League,” he mentioned.
Senior guard Jalen Griffith, a four-year varsity participant, has been round for lots of wins. He scored a game-high 17 factors and was glad to have the ability to assist Smith make historical past.
“The best way that we bought the five hundredth win was nice, however we’re not finished,” Griffith mentioned.
Smith’s success is constructed on communication, in keeping with Griffith.
“Actually, simply his uniqueness of speaking to gamers and with the ability to know what the gamers can do, placing them in sure conditions to make the crew higher,” Griffith mentioned.
High school basketball: Simeon coach Robert Smith wins his 500th game
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