It was already a busy summer for Scout's top ranked point guard in the 2018 class, but now, JaVonte Smart must rebuild after his home flooded up to the roof in Baton Rouge's historic and devastating flooding.
"My first thought was, everything I do this year has to be for Baton Rouge. We're tough and we'll rebound. I have to work even harder now because everything I do, I do for my city."
Smart and his family are okay and were able to get out of their house before the flooding really occurred, but it was of course a huge shock and damper on what has been a big summer on the court for the five-star point guard.
This past weekend, the 6-3, 166-pound guard attend the Under Armour Elite 24 and enjoyed getting to New York City where the scene was a great chance to learn and get better.
"It was really good. It was a great experience playing out there on the pier and bonding with the guys. We didn't make it to the finals, but we did fine," Smart said. "This summer has been good, but I'm just ready for school ball and next summer."
Smart played for the USA Junior National Team this summer and played well for the U.S. while also competing at the Pangos Camp too.
"Going to Spain, bonding with the guys and winning a gold medal. That was a great experience," Smart said. "Pangos was also good with all the guys there. We got after each other."
UCLA, TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas, Baylor, NC State, Kentucky, North Carolina, Wake Forest, UMass, LSU, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Stanford, Notre Dame, Memphis, Vanderbilt, SMU and others are all after Smart to get him on board, but that decision won't happen for a while. Smart is taking it slow.
"I'm going to take my time and look into the schools. I want to see the schools that have offered and shown interest, see where fits my game and then decide later."
With the hometown Tigers, Johnny Jones is putting the full court press and Smart has been impressed with LSU's ability to get great players.
"He's good. We're just building a relationship like all the other coaches. That's real big that they got him and that he went there and he was the No. 1 player in the nation. That's big for them. I like LSU, but I'm going to wait and see other schools."
Ben Simmons is a big reason why LSU is in the mix, but LSU's recruiting success is something he's also paying attention to. The staff keeps up with Smart about twice a month.
"They got Ben Simmons and stuff like that. He was the No. 1 pick. They pick up great other guys to play with me."
Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma State, UMass, NC State and Kentucky are coming after Smart the hardest. The No. 8 overall player in 2018 hasn't visited anywhere just yet and says everyone is even at this point.
While he doesn't have a timeline on a decision, Smart does know what he's watching for in a school.
"I like a school that can get point guards better and somewhere that plays fast in an up-tempo game that wins and does that type of stuff," Smart said.
At Scotlandville Magnet (La.), Smart says his goals are simple.
"Winning state. Being the best player I can be. Improving on my game. I don't want to do the same things I did last year. I want to get better."
Over the summer, Smart spent a lot of time in the weight room getting stronger and saw better consistency in his shot.
"Just getting stronger and consistent with the shots. I feel like I'm shooting the ball better," Smart said. "I need to work on explosiveness, jumping and strength."
Scout's Brian Snow watched Smart in the Peach Jam this summer and had this to say:
"The numbers quite honestly speak for themselves. Smart scored 26 points, and did so on 8-18 shooting, which included five made three pointers. Obviously the shooting stroke was very impressive to knock in five from deep, but also he showed ability getting to the rim.
With good size and athleticism, Smart can play a variety of positions, and then also shows the toughness to defend. His offensive game will only continue to improve with repetition, and athletically as he gets stronger it is scary to think of what he could become."
Keep it on Scout.com to track Smart's recruitment.