Player Profile: Zachary Smalley

Written and Media by Barry Nixon.

Zach Smalley running an offense set. Media by Gamal Smalley.

Zachary Smalley is a point guard for the Greenville University Men’s Basketball Team. According to his teammates, Smalley is a great role player for the point guard position and shows great leadership to the Men’s Basketball program. Smalley is a sophomore combo guard who knows how to create for his teammates and also knows when to score and take control.

Smalley was recruited by Coach Steven Groves, who is the assistant coach for the Men’s Basketball program. Smalley knows how to be a great teammate on and off the court.

He was born and raised from Pasadena, Calif., which is a city northeast of downtown Los Angeles. In the center, Old Pasadena is a district known for its Victorian and art deco buildings. The Rose Bowl is a sports stadium known for hosting the Rose Bowl Game. Smalley states that growing up in Pasadena, most people live in a fast-paced world.

Smalley with a 3-point shot. Media by Maranatha High School.

Smalley grew up playing with and against some of the best basketball players in the nation. He played AAU for the Pressure Basketball Club. The Pressure Basketball Club offers competitive club teams and experienced coaches with high-intensity practices. They also help in the community around the Pasadena area. They participate in local and NCAA-sanctioned tournaments. They work off a mission statement that states

“Pressure Basketball was created to provide young people a positive outlet to keep them off the streets while developing them into fundamentally sound basketball players. We preach hard work both on and off the court and stress ‘student first,’ then athlete.”

Smalley attended Maranatha High School and was a part of the 2016 graduating class. He has played against Lonzo Ball, who is currently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers program. He has also played against Aaron Holiday, who is a member of the UCLA Bruins.

Smalley faced a big struggle in his sophomore basketball season. In 2013, he had to finish his basketball season while his mom was battling breast cancer, which created a lot of stress and emotional challenges. Being able to play while his mom was battling was a was a struggle because of the lack of support. He felt as if he wasn’t there when the family needed him most, but he knew that they wanted him to stay focused.

Smalley plans on wearing number 2 because of John Wall. Smalley loves Wall’s game because of his mental toughness and ability to score. But his favorite player is Kobe Bryant, and Smalley says that “Kobe inspires me because of his work ethic and how much he loved achieving the little things that would attribute to championships.”

Zach signing with Greenville University. Media by Maranatha High School.

One of Smalley’s favorite quote comes from Kobe Bryant is “There’s been a lot of talk of me being a one-man show but that’s simply not the case. We win games when I score 40 points and we’ve won when I score 10.” By this quote, Smalley means “Whether I score 30 or 5 points in a game I just want to be able to step up in other areas and help lead my team to [succeed].” With this hard work and confidence, Smalley will bring a big spark to the Panthers this season!




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