Princeton ‘Fearless’ teen plays to inspire on and off the basketball court

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PRINCETON, Ind. (WFIE) – At Princeton Community High School, the women’s basketball program is excited.

In 2015, Olympic gold medalist Jackie Young helped win a state title for the program. This season, the starting playmaker is an inspiration.

Four sports athlete Lexi Smith has been playing basketball since she was in fifth grade. Now at Princeton Community High School, she is the starting leader in second grade.

“My brother used to play, well he always does, but I would go over there and play with him, Smith said. “I wanted to be able to compete with him.

Smith was born with amniotic band syndrome. She was born without her right forearm.

“I didn’t really see it as, ‘Oh, I only have my left hand,’ I just didn’t see it because I’m different from the rest,” Smith said.

The coaches who coached her don’t treat her any differently from other players.

“From day one, I set expectations for all the kids,” said Mitch Breidenbaugh, Smith’s college coach. “I never really held her back, she did her own thing. Never had an apology. She is a great example of hard work. Just at a young age I saw this work ethic, this motivation. “

Smith was the starting leader of an AAU travel team last summer to continue working on her skills. The team traveled to Indianapolis.

“She trains all the time, on days off when she has it – she’ll go running, she’ll go shoot,” said Brandi Smith, Lexi’s mother. “She is constantly working hard. She still impresses us every day with her beauty. That’s all his raw talent.

With the confidence gained by the travel team, she proved herself as a beginner in high school, which she always dreamed of.

“Lexi loves to win,” said PCHS women’s basketball head coach Brittany Maners. “She wants to work hard and she’s a lot of fun to train. She’s a little girl, but you would never know how to watch her play because she drives fearlessly and usually gets to the rim when she wants to.

“I just have to keep working hard,” Lexi said. “The girls to come are going to be good too, so I just have to hold my position and keep doing what I’m doing.”

On and off the pitch, Lexi is an inspiration to everyone.

“She has a gift,” Brandi said. “We knew she would inspire people. One day we knew her goal would come, we didn’t know what it was, but we knew she had been placed on this Earth for a purpose.

Copyright 2021 WFIE. All rights reserved.


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