Talking with Ramar Smith

Ramar Smith, the talented 6'3" combo guard out of Detroit King, is ranked as's top player in the state of Michigan in the Class of 2006. Earlier this week, InsideMichiganState's Doug Warren spoke with Ramar about his busy summer, his recruitment and a couple of other topics of note.

Needless to say, it has been a busy year for Ramar Smith.

Earlier this year, Ramar led Detroit Martin Luther King into the MHSAA Regionals before losing to Deshawn Sims and Detroit Pershing, 81-72.

Then this spring, Ramar and Deshawn have teamed up once again on the roster of Detroit's top AAU squad, The Family; playing in tournaments in Texas, Arkansas, Virginia and Indiana so far this summer.

Last weekend, Ramar was at the Nike Skills Academy in Portland, Oregon, and this weekend he is in Richmond, Virginia, taking part in the NBA Players Association Top 100 High School Basketball Camp. At the NBA camp, a number of former and current NBA players will be on hand to conduct a variety of classes for the high-school players, who will also engage in games against each other; with the camp's main objective being to mentor the kids that have the potential to play in the NBA some day.

Earlier this week, I spoke with Ramar about his busy summer, his recruitment and a couple of other topics of note.

Currently, Smith is ranked as the 25th best player in the class of 2006 by's Dave Telep. When you see Ramar play, both on film and in person, it is clear why he is so highly regarded.

The 6'3" 185 pounder can play both the shooting guard and point guard positions. He is tremendously strong for his size and fearless in going to the hoop; making him a great finisher on the fast break. He is also more than just token threat as a rebounder due to his explosiveness and love for contact under the basket. Smith is a talented defensive back for King's football squad during the fall, which makes him a skilled and aggressive defender on the hardcourts too.

Despite his basketball talents, Ramar still knows that he has some more work to due on his overall game.

"I working on my mid-range game. I need to get more consistent with my jumper and on my three (point shot)."

As far as Ramar's recruitment goes, he's current leader remains a certain school from the Big East.

"I really like UConn," Smith said.

Other schools however are still in the hunt.

"Arkansas, Michigan State of course, and Tennessee. . . . They (Tennessee) lost a lot of people and ran this (past) year."

While Ramar has yet to take any official visits, he does have offers on the table from UConn, Michigan State and Arkansas.

While Ramar is among the leaders on many recruiting boards, it is also clear that he has leadership qualities of his own and is looked up to by his peers. He is a one man gang on the Detroit King squad, often drawing double and triple-teams when he has the ball.

Ramar takes the extra attention in stride.

"It makes me better all–around player to get hit with all that," says Smith. "It makes me a better passer and tougher mentally."

When I recently asked Ramar's AAU teammate, Leon Freeman, if they're were any other players that he admired and looked up to, Ramar was the first name he mentioned.

"Ramar Smith, that's my boy," Freeman said. "He and I are like the same person. We eat the same. We act the same and like a lot of the same stuff."

For Smith the feeling is mutual.

"Yeah, Leon's my man, but I haven't been able to catch up with him (lately)."

The reason for their separation is because the month of June is a time when many high school players take a break from the AAU season to return to their home town teams. Leon Freeman spent the past weekend with his high school mates, the Belleville Tigers, in East Lansing at the Tom Izzo Spartan Shootout. While Detroit King, Smith's prep team, was also at the Shootout, Ramar's chance to be at the Nike Skills Camp was too important to pass up.

With that in mind, the month of July is truly where legends, and scholarships, are made on summer prep circuit. Individual events like Nike All American Camp, the Reebok ABCD Camp take place during the month, as well as some of the biggest AAU team events.

Most importantly, July is an open month for NCAA coaches to travel, watch and talk with the players they hope to one day coach at the next level.

When I asked Ramar what it was like to be a teenager in his position – that being one of the most highly sought after recruits in the country, he response was a simple one.

"It really means a lot to me because I've come a long way. I remember when I couldn't do anything. I've come a long way. I'm really proud of myself."

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