Athlete of the Week: Brianna Smarkusky
On Feb. 12 in a 64-51 victory over Blue Ridge, Lackawanna Trail senior Brianna Smarkusky scored 17 points and pulled down 21 rebounds to lead the Lion team. Smarkusky is also the team’s leading scorer this season, averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds per game.
For her accomplishment, Smarkusky has been named the Wyoming County Press Examiner’s Athlete of the Week.
Class, age, hometown: Senior, 17, Nicholson
Family: William, father; Mary, mother; brothers, Matthew, 26, and David, 22; sister, Rachel, 19.
Other sports I play: Softball
Athletes I admire: LA Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant and retired Chicago Bull Michael Jordan.
Favorite Movie: “A Walk to Remember.”
Favorite Food: “Pierogies.”
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: NBA player Kobe Bryant, Olympic softball player Jennie Finch and President Barack Obama.
Post-graduation plans: “I’m not sure what college yet, but I want to study pre-med and biology to hopefully become an optometrist. I also plan to play basketball.”
Superstitions or rituals: “Before every game I listen to music and I have to wear a Pre-wrap in my hair instead of a headband.”
How does it feel to lead your team in scoring and rebounding this season? “It’s definitely a help for our team. I am one of the oldest on the team this season. We have a very young team.”
In your win over Blue Ridge this week, what do you attribute your 17 points and 21 rebounds to? “Definitely to my team. Without them passing me the ball there’s no way I was getting any of those points.”
With a new coach (Bob Fitzsimmons), what is the team dynamic like at Lackawanna Trail this season? “We’ve become very close as a family. This season we’ve gotten to know each other more. This is the first year we’ve played together as a team.”
With the season winding down, what does the team hope to accomplish the rest of the year? “We want to win our first playoff game.”
When did you first start playing basketball? “In fifth grade. I got started because I always happened to be the tallest girl in school. Playing in elementary school got me going and then I kept playing because I got pretty good at it.”
Who are your biggest role models? “Definitely my parents. They back me up 100 percent in anything I want to accomplish in life. And they never judge me in my decisions.”
Being the Wyoming/Lackawanna Dairy Princess, is it difficult to fit in all of your responsibilities around multiple sports and school work? “Time management is definitely important for me. You have to work around your schedule. Keeping organized is also really important.”