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Collins' two new transfers

Well folks the 8th Region boys' basketball race just got a lot more interesting, and probably a lot more competitive too.

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That's because this week Collins welcomed two new transfers into its program. Six-three senior Norvis Smith and his 6-6 brother Terez, a junior, moved to Simpsonville from Michigan with their family (their dad got a job at Ford in Louisville) on Super Bowl Sunday.

The two, who played their last game for Trenton (Mich.) High School a week ago, made an immediate impact Friday night in the Titans' 63-41 victory over visiting Nelson County. The duo, who Collins Coach Chris Gaither said were cleared to play for the Titans on Wednesday by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, combined for 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Terez Smith scored eight points, including two on a big alley-oop dunk, and grabbed seven rebounds. Meanwhile Norvis Smith added seven points and a steal. 

I caught up with both of them after the game, and they are both very nice young men.

"It's been pretty crazy," Norvis Smith said of the past week, "but we've met a lot of new people and everybody's been really nice to us."

"It's been a great week," Terez Smith added.

The younger Smith (he's 17), a power forward, scored two points in the first quarter and four in the second. Two of those points came on a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Malik Manica from just inside midcourt (I didn't see it in person, I was at the Shelby County Homecoming game, but I heard about it on the radio then from several others when I got to Collins as the game was ending).

"At first I was nervous, but as I started playing I got used to it and it felt right," Terez Smith said.

Norvis Smith, meanwhile, hit 1 of 2 free throws in the second quarter and then connected on three field goals in the fourth quarter.

"It was great, especially being out there with a good group of boys," Norvis Smith said.

With the addition of these two Collins may have the best group of talent in the 8th Region. Gaither told me after the game that his wife, Katie, joked with him earlier in the day that she was mad at me because I had left Collins out of my 8th Region Top 5 rankings in Friday's newspaper. Well with the addition of the Smith brothers I might have to move the Titans, who improved to 18-10 after Friday's victory, from unranked to the top spot overnight.

But basketball isn't the only sport the Smiths play. Both participate in track & field and Norvis said he played football this past season for Trenton. While Terez didn't (he said his mother urged him to concentrate on basketball), he said sophomore Lawson Page, the quarterback of the football team, has already tried to recruit him to the team (you can bet Coach Jerry Lucas probably wouldn't mind it either).

Both said they hope to compete in athletics at the college level. Norvis said he'd like to play football and/or track at the next level, while Terez is focused on basketball right now. He said he's heard from Bowling Green State University.

The Smiths also have three younger siblings. They have a sister who has joined the Collins girls' basketball team (she's playing JV right now) and two other siblings who are in middle school.

*In other Collins basketball news, 6-8 senior center Brian Stone is taking a visit to Malone University in Ohio on Saturday.

*Also Friday night the Shelby County boys' basketball team lost to University Heights 79-58 Friday night as Rockets Coach Rick Parsons coached sans shoes in an effort raise awareness - and collect shoes - for an Appalachian-based charity.