HP Standout is a Good Neighbor

Growing up in the Park Cities, Morgan Smith had always been a casual follower of the SMU women’s basketball program, but she never imagined playing there.
After all, it’s not often that a teenager with dreams of playing NCAA Division I basketball gets the opportunity to fulfill that goal practically in her own backyard.
So when the Mustangs offered her a scholarship, Smith knew it was a perfect fit. The Highland Park High School senior signed a letter of intent with SMU in November.
Smith credits the opportunity to her success both with the Lady Scots — where she’s been a three-year starter — and with her select team, the Dallas Hurricanes, for whom she had a strong showing last summer in a handful of high-profile tournaments.

“We started playing better competition, so more people came out,” Smith said. “I’m super excited [about SMU]. It’s a good atmosphere.”
Smith is part of the first recruiting class for new SMU head coach Travis Mays, the former Texas assistant who took over the Mustangs program last fall.
“She is a combo guard who can play the one or the two,” Mays said. “She is the type of player who can stretch the defense with her ability to knock down three-point shots. She has an incredible work ethic and is a great teammate.”
HP head coach Nicole Fleming has seen Smith boost her versatility during the past three years, despite standing just 5 feet, 6 inches.
“If you watch her play, you can see there’s a fire in her,” Fleming said. “There’s a focus in her and a passion that you can’t coach.”
Smith is the top scorer this season for HP, which is in contention for another playoff spot in District 15-5A. But as a team captain, she’s also become more of a vocal leader, which is a new role for her.
“She was very quiet. She knew what to say, but she wasn’t always comfortable saying it,” Fleming said. “This year, with her being a senior and being a captain, it’s made her more comfortable in giving direction. She’s come a long way in that regard.”
The volume of her game has likewise continued to increase, as Smith’s perimeter skills have been complemented by improved ball-handling and defense.
“I needed to take some scoring responsibility on myself because we lost a lot of scoring from last year,” Smith said. “It’s made me attack the basket a lot more and look for my shot.”

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