January 15, 2009

State signee Smith battles through injuries

Injuries can be tough on any player.

They have been especially difficult for Mississippi State signee Shaunessy Smith this season. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Noxubee County was the preseason favorite to win Mr. Basketball in Mississippi but offseason hip surgery has slowed his progress.

Smith had surgery on the hip during the summer and also injured his ankle in prior to the season opener. The ankle has healed but his hip still causes problems from time to time.

"It's kind of been affecting me a little," Smith said. "I really can't go as hard as I want to but I've just got to fight through it."

The Tigers have played a brutal schedule to start off the season and have had the added difficulties of Smith's injuries along with their football players being out until mid-December while in the playoffs. Noxubee County is currently 6-9 on the year.

When he has been healthy, Smith said he has fared pretty well on the court.

"I've been doing pretty good so far," Smith said. "Our record ain't that good but we've been playing a lot of good teams. With the injury, I just try not to worry about it as much and just go out and play."

Smith signed with the Bulldogs during the early signing period on his birthday Nov. 19. Since that time, he mentioned he has drawn even more attention from opposing defenses than a year ago.

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