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Coronado High School Student Hits 1,000 Points on the Court

Even for those who don’t follow basketball closely, the significance of scoring 1,000 career points in high school cannot be overstated.

Coach Cody Bernbeck expressed, “It’s an amazing accomplishment. You don’t see it all the time.” The spotlight was on Coronado’s senior, Realiti Smith, as he achieved his 1,000-point career milestone on Saturday, January 20.

Approaching the game against Falcon High School with 979 points, Smith needed just 21 more. Despite his average of 17.7 points per game, everyone knew this was his moment.

The tension in the gym escalated with every point he scored, fans counting down the points left. By halftime, Smith led the team with 15 points. At the beginning of the 3rd quarter, he confidently hit a 3-point shot.

As Smith neared the milestone, the whole gym was on the edge of their seats. In the 4th quarter, Smith made a layup to reach 1,001 points. Reflecting on the moment after the game, he commented, “At first, I thought coach was going to call a timeout but when he didn’t. I had to get back on defense of course. I took time to look at the stands and it does put a smile on my face when I see all the signs.”

Realiti Smith hits a layup to reach the 1,000-career point record

Despite exceeding his average points per game with 26 total points, the team fell short, losing 65-72. Smith shared over the noise of the gym, “It feels good. [It] would have been better to get the win obviously, but it felt good when it happened.”

This was a moment that he was extremely thankful for, being one of only two recorded Coronado players in recent years, the first being Ladarius Mays who graduated in 2020, to have reached this milestone will always be a moment Smith remembers looking back on his high school basketball career.

Smith’s Coronado family showed up to an away game over a half-hour away. “It felt great seeing everybody come to an away game just to see that accomplishment. I feel when I look back at it, I won’t remember the shot, but the people who were there for me and supported me. I appreciated everyone who showed up and came and congratulated me that evening.”

Coronado Students and Parents celebrating Realiti Smith’s 1,000th career point at Falcon High School (Erica Merz)

Smith didn’t do this alone; he had his teammates by his side through it all. “It wasn’t just about him. He understands who had passed him the ball. The team celebrated him, but it was together,” Bernbeck said.

As a leader and captain for the past two seasons, Smith is focused not only on personal accomplishments but on taking the team to playoffs and becoming the all-time scorer in Coronado history.

Smith would have never gotten where he is today without the team dynamic. His fellow teammate, Seth Enoch, Class of 2024, has played with him since 6th grade.

They play together on an Armature Athletic Union (AAU) club team in the school’s off-season. Playing on the same AAU club team has created a bond unlike any other. “We just have that look and can know what each other is thinking and run the play,” Enoch said.

1,000 points wasn’t always on Smith’s mind until he was halfway and realized he could reach it: “I started putting in more work and being able to do that and then at the beginning of this year I knew I could get in and then just put in the work every day.”

Focusing on his footwork and the fundamentals of the game getting repetitions of the simple things like shooting a layup or handling the ball against pressure. Smith has worked up to become one of the best athletes in the state: “he plays above the rim” and “can create his own [space for the] shot. He elevates on his jump shot and he’s playing well from mid-range,” Bernbeck explains.

Despite the milestone Smith accomplished, the season is not over yet. With seven games remaining in the season, Smith still has time to become the all-time Coronado Scorer with 52 points remaining and to complete his hopes of bringing the team to playoffs.

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About the Contributor
Erica Merz, Staff Writer
Erica is currently a senior at Coronado High School; she is a Co-Editor in Coronado Yearbook, is on Varsity Volleyball and is a part of KUGR-TV. She loves everything to do with sports and is going to college for a sports communication major and will hopefully become a sports journalist/photographer.

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    DomenicaJan 29, 2024 at 10:23 am

    Great job 👏