University of North Georgia senior Ebo Smith showed very little reaction when he broke an NCAA-era record with his 173rd career 3-pointer for the Nighthawks.
Positioned in an 80-72 hole against Flagler College late in the game Jan. 15, the North Hall High graduate was more in tune with what Nighthawks coach Chris Faulkner had to say after Smith’s trey and an immediate timeout with 1:48 left to play.
Smith’s memorable 3-pointer topped that off former school-record holder Lamar Richardson (2014).
“It feels pretty good that a lot of work has paid off,” Smith said. “It feels good to know that my name will be in the record books for a little while.”
The mood of his accomplishment was dampened slightly after dropping the game, 86-78, at Memorial Hall. Still, he was able to take pride in the hard work he’s put into the North Georgia program, now at the midway of the season for the fifth-year senior from Lula.
“At the time we were losing the game and we ended up losing that game so I really was not happy as I should have been,” Smith said. “I was focusing on getting that win first.”
Smith is still thankful to where he is at in his career. The skilled-shooting guard, who guided the Trojans twice to the state semifinals, said his success comes from the Lord blessing him with his talent to play basketball. Smith is also thankful for his former North Hall coach, Benjie Wood, who pushed him to be the best player he can be. The Nighthawks’ coach is also another person he gives gratitude to at this point in his career and feels like he would not be playing at the college level if it was not for them.
“We saw Ebo play early in his career at North Hall,” Faulkner said. “Coach Benjie Wood was very helpful in the recruiting process and we knew Ebo was exactly what we needed here at North Georgia, both on and off the floor.”
And Ebo’s father, Todd Smith, helped fine-tune his long-range shot growing up.
“I got to give credit to my dad for that one,” the North Georgia senior said. “We just worked every day. My summer year after eighth grade going into freshman year of high school we would be in the gym everyday making 500 shots a day.
“A lot of those were 3s.”
Smith’s support system is his family. His family made sure they were there for the night he was on the verge breaking a North Georgia record.
“My family is super proud of me,” Smith said. “They were actually at the game; my parents are my biggest supporters you can hear my momma over anybody in the stands. They were super proud and super happy for me. My girlfriend and some of her friends were there too. It was nice to see all of them for that moment.”
After the game when Smith came up from the locker room he was greeted by his family and loved ones who were cheering for him on his historic night.
“We are all extremely proud of what Ebo has accomplished over his career here at North Georgia,” Faulkner said. “We knew early on in the recruiting process that he would be able to accomplish these goals.”
Now that the 3-point record is locked down, Smith is gunning for 1,000 career points. He’s less than 200 away from that milestone.
“That is a big goal for me, that was a goal for me coming into college trying to get into the 1,000-point club,” Smith said.
As of right now, the main goal for Smith is to help his team as much as he can for the Nighthawks to get in the Peach Belt Conference tournament. Smith is eager to do whatever it takes for his team to be successful and has shown examples of that throughout his time in Dahlonega.
“His work ethic has never been more on display than when he suffered a terrible knee injury last year,” Faulkner said. “He worked diligently all summer and got himself back in a position where he could play this fall.”