Petal basketball’s leading scorer Treylan Smith made his decision for the next level and signed with Mississippi Valley State.
According to Smith, he chose MVSU because of head coach Lindsey Hunter’s extensive NBA experience and having been a similar type of player as Smith.
“I like Coach Hunter because he has a lot of NBA experience, and he is a guy who played the same position I’m playing,” Smith said. “I like the way he is going to implement me into the offense, so I figured that he is a good guy that I could learn from and get me to where I ultimately want to be, which is a pro.”
Hunter spent 17 years in the NBA as a player and was the 10th over pick in the 1993 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons after finishing his career at Jackson State. Hunter was a part of the 2001-02 Lakers championship team and the 2003-04 Pistons championship team. In his career, Hunter played in 937 games and went to the playoffs in 12 of his seasons.
Hunter believes that Smith was an underrecruited player and that his poise and basketball intelligence are a substantial part of his game. In his senior year, Smith averaged 18.8 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.
“I went out to a game and saw Treylan, and I knew that he was one of those kids that was a diamond in the rough,” Lindsey said. “They doubled teamed him all night and took what the defense gave him. He was really poised and had a matureness about him on the court. I think that comes from his upbringing. He has great parents. His mom and dad are very influential in his life. You can see the maturity in how he handles himself (which includes) his athleticism and ability to work. I think the sky is the limit for Trey.”
Smith was between Jones Community College, Pearl River CC and MVSU but explained that the COVID-19 pandemic did not allow him to take his other campus visits. However, the chance to see early playing time and the opportunities with MVSU was hard to pass.
“I wasn’t able to take visits,” Smith said. “I only took one visit, and that was to Mississippi Valley. With us not being able to travel anymore and not knowing what the coaches were going to do, I didn’t really want to take a chance and miss out on an opportunity that could potentially benefit me in the long run with Mississippi Valley.
“Coming in as a freshman, I needed a coach that is going to let me play as a freshman. I wanted to play as a freshman no matter where I went, so it factored in.”
According to Hunter, he will have Smith play a variety of positions, and his role will fluctuate early on which he credits to Smith’s basketball I.Q. and athleticism.
“We have a lot of talent coming in, and with Trey, I don’t want him to be in a situation where he is forced to do anything but instead thrive,” Lindsey said. “We’ll kind of play it by ear right now. I do know one thing that he is going to be a big part of what we do. I really like all of the things that he can do. We’ll play him at the point and at the two position. I’m going to play him all over the place. I think he does have athleticism, has a really good basketball I.Q., he can score the basketball, he can handle the basketball, it really gives him a big range of positions that he can play. The fact that he can play some point guard too is going to help us a lot.”
For Smith, leaving Petal is bittersweet, but is ready for the next chapter in his playing career.
“Petal basketball is always going to mean a lot to me because that’s where I first started,” Smith said. “Everything that we did there was special and I cherished every moment of it. I’m going to miss it, but I’m ready for the new chapter.”