OPRF boys basketball loses another college prospect

Josh Smith, family moving to California

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By James Kay

Sports Editor

Oak Park and River Forest High School boys basketball player and NCAA Division I prospect Josh Smith has informed Wednesday Journal that he is transferring to Culver City High School in California for his senior season.

Smith averaged 18 points per game in the 2019-20 campaign, which tied for the highest mark on the team with Isaiah Barnes.

Since his father works as a TV writer in Hollywood, Smith and his family have been split between California and Illinois since his freshman year. The move to Culver City brings them together full time as Smith builds his prospect profile.

"People say it's bad to transfer your senior year, but I am betting on myself," said Smith in an interview with Wednesday Journal on June 13. "I wanted my family to be together my senior year and [Culver City] is a great program. I know the coach and the playing style will be different but I feel like I can adjust since I like to play fast."

Head coach at Culver City, Roy Walker Jr., had high praises for his new high-volume scorer in the backcourt.

"Josh is a strong-minded kid," said Walker Jr. during a phone call with the Journal on Saturday. "He has confidence in his abilities, and I feel like he understands what he can be. He's already very talented and knows he has a long way to go, but he is a competitor. I think he is a high-level Division I player that has to be put on the right stage to showcase that. There's a lot of excitement on my end." 

Smith is the second Division I prospect to move on from OPRF since the end of last season. Barnes, who played with Smith on the club team Illinois Wolves, announced on May 21 that he would be transferring to Simeon High School in Chicago after two years at OPRF.

The program is also searching for its next head coach after Matt Maloney, who was OPRF's head coach for 12 years, stepped down from the position on May 6. With the loss of Smith, the Huskies have lost four of their starters from last season. 

RELATED: The rise of Josh Smith


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