Ken and Brenda Smith are now experiencing what all parents do. One day you have little ones running around the living room and the next they're off to college. The scenario is a bit different, though, when that little one is going on to play college sports. Part of that scenario involves entrusting part of your child's welfare to a coach/staff. We had a chance to sit down with the Smith’s and ask them what they thought about Michigan, the atmosphere around the program and coach Amaker’s honesty.
Now as you close this chapter in Jerret’s last year of high school and open up a new chapter with him going to Michigan how does that make you feel?
Brenda Smith: Well, it’s been great and exciting. This is a new beginning for Jerret going to Michigan. It’s funny…you have to enjoy every moment because time goes by so fast. We are just so proud of what he has accomplished and off the court.
Ken Smith: This is a good thing for Jerret. We realize that this is a new chapter but there’s more work to do. I am just thinking back to when we sat down in coach Amaker’s office, and how he told us the plans he had for the program and for my son on and off the court. He is experiencing something very few people have the opportunity to experience. Now we have to see how hard he is going to work to get to where he wants to be. We have confidence in him to get it done.
Honesty is very high on your list when you are dealing with people. How honest was coach Amaker with you about Michigan’s probation situation back when that was still going on?
Brenda Smith: He was very honest with us about everything that he and the University of Michigan were doing to make it better. Coach Amaker laid it all out on the table about the problems going on up there at the time. So, yes he was very honest about that.
Ken Smith: Coach Amaker didn’t try to hide it at all. As I said, I was impressed with the plans he had put together in terms of the type of players he wanted there and how they would be good on and off the court. He talked about academics, graduation and his vision for how he wanted Michigan to be. What you see now with the program is EXACTLY what he said it would be.
Coach Amaker and his staff will be taking care of your son for the next four years. What made you comfortable with that?
Brenda Smith: When we went up there for the official visit it seemed like we had known them forever. It was like a family. The coaches were really nice to us there was nothing phony about that or the way they were acting. The kids were all so respectful. Attitude reflects leadership and it shows just how coach Amaker is leading. It was a good family setting to be around. I feel blessed that Jerrett is moving to that next stage in his life. With Coach Amaker and the coaching staff as his next mentors we are putting him in good hands.
Ken Smith: The trust that they have established with us is great. I know they are going to do right by my son. I like the program commitment to have the kids do it on and off the court. The whole coaching staff is outstanding.
How has the move to Romulus helped you and Jerret?
Brenda Smith: First of all we have a lot of family in Romulus, and we are a close knit family. We just moved closer to our families distance wise. That was the biggest perk because Jerret now gets to see his cousins all the time. Also, we are close to our sons schools Darnell is at Eastern Michigan and Jerret will be at Michigan.
Ken Smith: It has shown him a different side of high school. He will have opportunities learn from and face new challenges. Oh and by the way no more air traffic over my house. (laughing).