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North Mason has new boys basketball coach

Smith hopes to host summer basketball camps

Derek Smith is the new North Mason boys basketball coach. He was hired May 18.

Smith, 28, has been the JV basketball coach and head football coach at Muckleshoot Tribal School in Auburn for the past three years and was the head baseball coach for one year.

While he attended Whitworth University, he was an assistant coach at a middle school for two years. He was a varsity and JV intern football assistant at Mead High School in Spokane County. He coached at Lakeside High School just outside of Spokane, coaching football and basketball.

Smith is originally from Chewelah, a city an hour north of Spokane, where he played high school football and basketball at Jenkins High School. He was recruited and played college football at Whitworth University.

Smith said he took the job because he was looking for a change and because he lives in Bremerton and wants to work closer to where he lives.

"I thought it would be a good opportunity to try and start something and build the program up and get it going with some athletes," Smith told the Journal. "Hopefully, eventually, I'll be on the football staff as well because I've always coached both football and basketball. I love coaching both and having kids that are playing both, just wanted to change it up and move up to something different."

Smith said his knowledge of the North Mason boys basketball program comes from watching teams throughout that league. He knows that they have struggled in recent years and he thinks they have some athletes that can build a program and get the kids to buy in.

He said he likes his teams to play fast, push the ball and get into the fastbreak.

While he was at Lakeside, Smith was able to learn from former boys basketball coach Ron Cox. He was also Smith's mentor teacher while he was getting his teaching degree. He also said Mike and John Bush, boys basketball coaches at Muckleshoot Tribal School, were also coaching influences on him.

Smith is the sixth to 12th grade physical education teacher at Muckleshoot Tribal School now, and he is planning to sub at the school until a teaching position opens.

He said his goal for his first season is to get better as the year goes on.

"Trying to get as many kids as we can to come out. Right now, summer time and we're having summer practices, we've had two summer practices already," Smith said. "Just trying to get kids out to that, try and get to know them and make improvements and making sure we're playing hard every single game, every minute of every game and good things will come from that if we're showing up and working hard."

He said the first year is to "get our feet wet and go from there." He said there's a lot of talent in the sophomore and junior classes and he hopes in the second year to make the playoffs.

"I would just say try to be supportive as possible. I'd love to have as many kids out as possible," Smith said. "I want to hopefully get summer camps going for the youth as well so we can get some more interest in basketball, some more kids out and start to build something, build a successful program that we can compete for playoffs, competing to go the state tournament year in and year out."

Author Bio

Matt Baide, Reporter

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Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald
Email: [email protected]


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