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With a different style, Preston Smith looks to make a seperate impression
Chestatee High basketball’s Preston Smith is the younger brother of the former War Eagles’ hoops standout Parker Smith.
All his life he’s been known as Parker Smith’s younger brother.

As his older brother was rewriting the basketball record book at Chestatee High, every time Preston Smith took the court, walked down a hallway or stood among a group of his peers, he was always called Parker’s little brother.

And for a sophomore trying to hone his game on the same court where his older brother set the school scoring record of 2,038 points, that title can be daunting.

“It feels like people expect me to do the things he did and be the player he was,” Preston said. “I’m going to be a different player than he was.”

And that’s just what his coach Gary Barnes wants him to do.

“I’ve told him that he can’t be Parker Smith and don’t try to be,” Barnes said. “I tell him to be the best Preston Smith you can be.”

That might be easier than most people think, as the brothers have little in common beside their skinny stature and love of basketball.

On the court, Preston is more of a slasher, a guy that likes to put the ball on the floor and make things happen. Parker, on the other hand, made his living from beyond the 3-point line and earned a reputation of being in range as soon as he stepped foot in the gym.

Off the court, Preston is a talker, an outgoing guy that “doesn’t care what people think about” him. Parker, according to his kid brother, is shy, and won’t go all out socially unless you get to know him.

No one knows him better than Preston, who is relying on his brother’s experience to become a better basketball player.

“He has helped my game a great amount,” he said. “In the summer, we work everyday on drills, and in the offseason I talk to him to see what I need to do.”

Parker’s best advice: “Know you’re the best on the court.”

That might not be true right now, but Preston is well on his way to making that happen. In his first year starting, the 6-foot, 130-pound guard is averaging 11.4 points per game, 3.5 assists per game, three rebounds per game and is shooting 46 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range.

“I don’t know if there’s a better sophomore in Hall County,” Barnes said. “I wouldn’t trade him for anyone.”

That statement pales in comparison to what Barnes told Preston upon his arrival at Chestatee.

“I told him, I’d like him to be the first SEC basketball player from Chestatee,” said the first-year War Eagles coach. “He looked at me like I was crazy, but he has all the tools and plenty of time to work on his game.”

And his frame.

“I need to get bigger,” Preston said. “One of the reasons why Parker didn’t go to a big school is because he was little. He’s telling me I need to get bigger and work out more.”

One thing he’s not relaying to his little brother is how to break his scoring record, which as of now, is a pipe dream.

“I want to beat him, but 2,000 is a lot of points,” Preston said.

Especially when you’re not asked to be that type of scorer.

“I’ve never been big on stats; this is a team game,” Barnes said. “I want him to become a complete player and not worry about being as good as his brother.”

While he’s not concerned with being a better basketball player than his brother, Preston is using Parker’s achievements as motivation to develop, succeed, and hopefully shed the description of just being Parker’s younger brother.

“I want to do everything he did plus more,” Preston said. “Once I get up there, he’ll be out of the picture and they’ll be calling him Preston’s older brother.”
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