Whether on the basketball court or on the baseball diamond, Landon Smothers is a winner.
On the basketball court, he’s been an integral part of a Spring Creek squad that won at least 20 games twice, reached the third round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs and won the Carolina 1-A Conference in 2017.
Between playing baseball and basketball, Smothers participated on five playoff teams and added his name to numerous categories in the Spring Creek record book.
It’s only fitting that Smothers will continue his basketball career at another winning program.
On Wednesday afternoon, the senior signed his national letter of intent with Division III Methodist University.
“It’s a great feeling,” Smothers said about signing. “I’ve worked hard for this, and I’m glad it’s here. I’m ready to get to it.”
A future business major, from his freshman to his senior season, Smothers has matured as a student-athlete. Smothers credits Spring Creek head Taylor Jones with getting him to love the game of basketball and believe in himself.
“Since my freshman year, I just fell in love with basketball,” Smothers said. “Coach Jones is a big part of that. He’s helped me a lot. The atmosphere we have here at Spring Creek for basketball influenced me a whole lot.
“It was a great senior year for me, and I’m thankful for all my teammates and everything they’ve done for me.”
In his final season, Smothers averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and six assists per game. One of four seniors in Spring Creek’s lineup, Smothers helped lead the Gators to the second round of the NCHSAA 2-A playoffs.
“He’s been here for four years and played a lot of basketball, but the biggest thing is the type of young man he is,” Jones said. “He’s such a great kid on and off the court. We’ll miss him on the court because he’s one of the best players in our area, but off the court, his leadership, character, commitment make him so coachable.
“He’ll be a great addition to Methodist for sure.”
Smothers looked a few other schools before picking Methodist. He said a visit to the school, meeting with his new coaches and teammates along with Methodist’s education program and proximity to home convinced him to head south to Fayetteville.
“Methodist is the school that best fits me,” Smothers said. “I just loved the campus and the atmosphere there, and being close to home is something I’ll enjoy.”
Methodist University has a basketball program on the rise. The Monarchs finished with a 15-13 record last season and an 18-9 record in 2018. The Monarchs have won at least 10 games three seasons in a row. Methodist is a member of the USA South Athletic Conference along with N.C. Wesleyan and William Peace University.
A hard worker, Smothers, took Spring Creek basketball to unprecedented heights, and he is now ready to take Methodist to a new level. Smothers knows the college level is a process and said he’s willing to keep working hard in pursuit of his dreams and goals.
“I’ve been fortunate to see him for four years in two different sports, and just seeing him grow overall has been great,” Jones said. “You coach at this level for kids like that, you want to see kids get opportunities who deserve opportunities, and he’s as deserving as anybody I’ve ever had.
“I’ve always appreciated him, and it’s not just his performance on the floor; it’s everything else.”