Days after graduating from Charles B. Aycock High School, Kaitlyn Smith got to celebrate another milestone on Wednesday.
Smith signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Mount Olive.
“It’s exciting and kind of life-changing,” Smith said. “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”
Smith’s recruiting process took numerous twists and turns. All she was looking for was a new home for the next four years.
There were hints of interest from other schools, but ultimately, UMO provided Smith with the environment she sought, and the lure of playing close to home was too good an opportunity to pass up.
“It was something,” Smith said about her recruitment period. “But I always had my heart set on UMO because it’s so close to home, and I’m not ready to leave.”
Every season, Smith made improvements on the court.
As a freshman, she averaged 3.3 points per game, flash forward three years, Smith averaged 14.8 points per game as a senior.
She helped lead the Golden Falcons an 8-5 record this season, which was the Golden Falcons’ first winning season since 2015.
During her four years at C.B. Aycock, Smith learned the importance of perseverance, hard work, and playing to the whistle.
“It’s very exciting,” C.B. Aycock head coach Randy Pate said. “She’s got the skill the set that makes her adaptable to any offense or defense that a college is going to be running.
“She’s just unbelievable, and one of the things I like was that she never shied away from the moment, and that was huge.”
Smith plans to major in exercise science, and after college, she would like to become a coach or athletic trainer.
She joins a Trojan squad that finished 7-7 last season and has not had a losing season since 2018.