Smith Tears ACL

August 13, 2015

By Bret Strelow,

Point guard Dennis Smith Jr., a rising senior at Fayetteville's Trinity Christian School and one of the top Class of 2016 basketball recruits in the country, had surgery Friday afternoon on his injured left knee.

 

The extent of the injury and specifics of the surgery, which was performed in Durham, were not immediately available.

Smith injured his knee Sunday night at the adidas Nations Global event in California. Considered the top point guard in his class, he has not committed to a college program, and the early signing period doesn't begin until November.

Smith has narrowed his list of college choices to N.C. State, Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Kentucky and Louisville.

Early in his high school career, Smith gained national attention as an explosive athlete with elite-level quickness, jumping ability and floor awareness. His skills as a ball-handler, scorer and passer have contributed to an ESPN ranking of No. 4 overall in the Class of 2016.

Smith suffered his injury in the semifinal game of the adidas Nations Global tournament, which attracted many of the nation's top recruits and was held a week after the July evaluation period for college coaches ended. Smith and Virginia recruit Kyle Guy, who suffered a foot injury, were both on crutches during the final day of the event.

Smith played in 13 games over a 12-day span from July 22 through Aug. 2, leading Team Loaded North Carolina to a 7-1 record in Las Vegas over the final five days of the July evaluation period. The adidas Nations Global tournament began five days later.

Smith's father, Dennis Sr., said there was full range of motion and no swelling in the knee a day after the injury occurred. During a live interview with ESPN on Monday night, Smith said the knee felt better and that he would "be back soon," but the results of an initial MRI revealed that surgery might be necessary.

Smith helped lead Trinity Christian to a state title as a sophomore. He averaged 22.2 points and was named Gatorade’s North Carolina high school player of the year as a junior.



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