Lincoln – University of Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles bolstered the Huskers’ frontcourt with the signing of Leslee Smith to a National Letter-of-Intent on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period.
A 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward from Longlook, British Virgin Islands, Smith brings Division I experience to the Nebraska program, as he began his collegiate career at SMU before spending the 2012-13 season at Seward County (Kan.) Community College. His addition helps the Huskers’ interior game, as Nebraska looks to replace graduating seniors Brandon Ubel and Andre Almeida, while all of NU’s previous signees in this recruiting class are guards.
For Nebraska Coach Tim Miles, Smith’s combination of size and experience made him a focus during recruiting.
“I’m fired up about signing Leslee Smith,” Miles said. “He is an intelligent young man with great maturity and is an excellent student. As a player, he possesses the athleticism and skill to flourish in our style of play. I think his versatility will also be an asset for us. We think he can play a variety of positions. His experience at SMU is key because he understands about the regimentation, the training and competition to play at this level. Today is a big day for Husker Basketball.”
Smith played at Seward County CC last season for CoachBryan Zollinger, helping the Saints win the Jayhawk West Conference championship. Smith averaged 8.3 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per game to help Seward County CC to a 25-8 record and the Region VI semifinals. He reached double figures in scoring eight times, including a 16-point effort against Garden City CC, and had four games of at least 10 rebounds, including 13 caroms against Lamar State College. He totaled a pair of double-doubles while finishing second on the club with 22 blocked shots. Smith’s signing marks the second straight season Nebraska has signed a player from Seward CC, joining junior Deverell Biggs, who redshirted in 2012-13.
Smith began his college career at SMU, where he spent two seasons in the Mustangs program. After redshirting his first season, his second year got off to a slow start after tearing his right ACL in March of 2011. He played 25 games, averaging 3.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He led the Mustangs in rebounding eight times, including a pair of double-figure rebound performances. He had 12 rebounds against Southeast Missouri State and 11 against Tulane. His season high in points came in a 10-point effort against Tulane. He started SMU’s final four games and made six starts on the season.
Smith played his high school basketball at Christian Life Center Academy in Humble, Texas, for Carlos Wilson. As a senior, he averaged 12 points and nine rebounds per game. Smith helped the BVI National Team to a silver medal at the 2009 FIBA Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships held on Tortola, BVI. Smith looked at Saint Louis University before selecting Nebraska.
Fans can watch Smith and the Huskers play at new Pinnacle Bank Arena this fall, as 2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets start at just $85. Fans can reserve their season tickets for $25 by calling 800-8-BIGRED or by visiting Huskers.com/Arena. Tickets for the 2013-14 season are set at $187 (mezzanine Level) and $85 (Upper Bowl) with limited seats available in the mezzanine.