Wellington Smith Waits Turn

Wellington Smith had a chance to go in this season and play college ball, but he decided to take this extra year for maturity - both on and off the court.

Wellington Smith could have headed to college this year, but instead he opted to spend this season at Blair Academy (N.J.) honing his game and his academic approach in order to be more prepared when he gets to college.

The 6-foot-7 ½, 200-pound forward, who averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds last season as a senior at Summit High (N.J.), had an opportunity to play at West Virginia or Seton Hall – or redshirt at Georgia Tech or Wake Forest.

``I know I needed to mature as a person and as a player," Smith said. "I want to be able to balance my time – to do my homework, hang out with my friends and play basketball. I didn't do that at Summit."

``It just wasn't my time yet," he added. "I think it'll be my time in a year."

Now Smith says that West Virginia is still in the mix while Virginia, Georgia and South Florida have entered the fray.

Smith said he'll take an official visit to West Virginia on Sept. 24 and will head to Virginia for the weekend of Midnight Madness on Oct. 15.

Smith said it was a learning process going from being the focal point of the team in high school to a role guy on a loaded Playaz squad that was led by Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson Jr.

Smith one thing that recently motivated him was when he found out that his 890 SAT and 2.3 GPA wouldn't cut it to get into Georgia Tech.

``It was hard for me to realize that it wasn't good enough academically," Smith said. "But I was told that Georgia Tech was like the Princeton of the south and that put it into better perspective for me."

``The last quarter of school I got senioritis," he added. "It hit me. I saw other people doing it, but the difference was that I hadn't committed yet – and they did."

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