What is your full name and where are you from?
My full name is Jackson Smyth. I’m from Auckland, New Zealand but I have been in Sydney for about 10 years now.
Why did you choose the game of basketball?
I played a variety of sports, including rugby, soccer, tennis and basketball. I chose the game of basketball because my dad played it at a high level. He played on NZNBL teams, went to college in the States and played for the Tall Blacks. That influenced me to play the game of basketball. The more and more I played it, I fell in love with it. That’s why I exceeded in it.
What schools have you attended and what are your achievements and highlights?
I went to St Josephs College. There in the GPS league which is the best high school basketball league in Sydney. My Highschool achievements would have to be making the All-Schools GPS team. Which is essentially the top 10 players in the league. I was the leading scorer across the whole league, averaging 28ppg. Had a career high on my last high school game (45points). While I was at that school, I made the U19 Asia Junior Tall Blacks team, along with state teams.
You are a role model for young men wanting to follow in your footsteps, what advice do you have for them?
My advice would be to work towards great opportunities, and once you get these great opportunities don’t ever take them for granted. Also, want more. Never be satisfied where you are at with your basketball journey.
What has been the ultimate highlight so far in your career?
The ultimate highlight of my career would be being selected and playing for the Tall Blacks. Also going to the Basketball Without Boarders camp, run by the NBA Academy in Tokyo.
Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?
My biggest influence would have to be dad, and his career. He actually wasn’t the one that got me in hoops. It was my mum, that put me into a kid’s league. But my dad has shared his knowledge of the game to me, and I’m grateful for that.
What have you been doing this summer?
I’ve been working out every day and working towards getting better and stronger for the NZNBL season.
Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand?
I’ve heard of Charlisse Leger-Walker, apparently, she’s killing it over in the states.
Who is the ultimate men’s basketball player in New Zealand?
Pero Cameron or Mika Vukona. I’m lucky enough to be coached by Pero and play with Mika. Their knowledge for the game is unbelievable.
In terms of your playing career, what would be the pinnacle for you?
Got no pinnacle, just want to play at the highest level that I’m capable of.
What’s the best pair of basketball shoes you have owned?
I had the Kobe AD Chromes, which were fire and so comfortable to play in. But Kyries are my favourite.
Who has been the hardest person to guard in your career and why?
Biwali Bayles. He’s point guard at Hawaii University now. He has just has this Westbrook mentality and explosiveness.
You recently played for the Tall Blacks, please tell me about this experience?
That experience was like no other. I learnt so much about myself as a player and what I need to work on in the future. It was defiantly and eye opener on what it might be like in the NZNBL.
You have recently signed with the Auckland Huskies, how excited are you for your debut season in the NBL?
I am very excited for my debut and what it has to offer. I’m excited to put in the work and help out the team as much as possible.
Who is the G.O.A.T?