Huron juniors Siena Smith and Jadyn Smith are not only sisters but also outstanding basketball players, excellent students and young women with dreams, goals and aspirations.
But before we get to all of that – and we will – let’s have some fun.
Siena and Jadyn each provided a basketball scouting report on the other.
First, Siena breaks down her sister’s game: “Jadyn is a very strong shooter and especially good from three-point range. She uses quickness along with strong ball handling skills to attack the basket. She is a good rebounder because she crashes the boards. Her length and athleticism helps her defensively to get steals and blocks. She also has a high basketball IQ that is evident in all aspects of her game.”
And now Jadyn gives the inside scoop on Siena: “Siena is an excellent shooter including three pointers and has a strong mid-range jumper that is really hard to guard. She also runs the floor well in transition. She is a great ball handler and rarely turns the ball over. She also is a good on-ball defender and has long arms for getting blocks and steals.”
The sisters not only know each other but clearly respect each other. But it goes much further than that. Experiencing all that high school has to offer and playing varsity basketball with your identical sister by your side every step of the way is something both cherish and appreciate.
“Jadyn and I have been together our whole lives,” says Siena. “On the basketball court, this is something really special because we understand each other’s game so thoroughly (as the scouting report proves). How we play together has a fluidity based on a bond and an understanding that has been honed through hours upon hours on the court together.”
But there is a flip side – not necessarily a bad flip side, either.
“We are both extremely competitive,” Siena says. “My parents say that when we were born, we raced to see who would be the oldest, but unfortunately I lost that battle by about a minute.
“We are very lucky to always have someone to work with and against. There is always someone to compete with. Playing against someone who can predict your every move helps force us to be creative and to improve our range of offensive tools.”
Jadyn says it’s a lot of fun playing with her sister and having her around helps make things easier when they go to tryouts or camps and don’t know many other players.
“On the court, we generally know what the other person is going to do and are confident in the other’s abilities,” Jadyn says. “This is useful when we are breaking a press or running a motion offense because I tend to know where she will go.”
Jadyn admits that because they are identical twins they often get mixed up and have come up with an easy way to deal with it. “We usually just answer to both names,” Jadyn says. “Some upsides to this confusion are that it is always funny in open gyms or at the rec center when we are on different teams and someone passes to the wrong Smith for an easy layup.”
The two juniors are key players for this year Huron basketball team. They are both playing well and the River Rats are quickly improving with a young team and a new coach.
And the new coach is glad to have two Smiths on the roster.
“Siena has been our most consistent player this year,” says Coach Scott Hunter. “She does a good job leading by example. Jadyn is a good shooter who can also get to the basket. And they both are outstanding students.”
The daughters of Derek and Kristy Smith, both Siena and Jadyn are better students than basketball players with their most impressive statistic of all being a 4.0 grade-point average. They are just as competitive in the classroom and they are currently tied at the top of the standings.
Both also are outstanding soccer players. The two played varsity soccer as sophomores and also play club soccer for Liverpool FC. Siena is a board member in WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) and also is in the National Honor Society. Jadyn also is in WISE.
The two have been playing basketball for “as long as we can remember,” says Siena. Their first organized team was in first grade at the YMCA – and their parents were the coaches.
“Even after moving to an AAU team (One on One Athletics) in fifth grade their coaching and input continues,” Siena says. “They are the ones who have had the biggest hand in shaping the players and people we have become.”
Basketball was love at first dribble for the Smith sisters.
“The thing that I probably enjoy the most about basketball is how the game is limitless,” Siena says. “You are never done improving and there is always more that you can add to your game. I also love the bonds that are formed through the game.”
Of course, Jadyn agrees.
“We have been watching college basketball our whole lives and have always dreamed of playing college basketball since we were really little,” she says. “In basketball there are only five people on the floor and the pace of the game means there is always something happening. There is no lull in the action and any one person can have a huge impact on the game.”
As freshman, Jadyn and Siena were two of the four freshman on varsity.
“We were shooting guards but didn’t have the opportunity to play much in games, but it was a good learning experience,” Siena says. “We had the opportunity to play with Kara Wilson and Emily Marsh, who were both great role models.”
That team reached the state quarterfinals.
Last year as a sophomore, Siena averaged nine points a game for a team that set the school record for wins in a season with 18. Jadyn also had a breakout season last year at the varsity level.
“As a sophomore I was a shooting guard and improved immensely from freshman year and got much more comfortable with the ball in game situations,” Jadyn says. “We had a record-breaking regular season, going 18-2, but we had an abrupt ending when we lost to Dexter in Districts. That loss served to light a fire under us for this year.”
Jadyn said she is looking to create more offense this year by taking the ball strong to the rim. “I will continue to do anything my team needs me to including making plays on the defensive end, getting rebounds, and taking care of the ball,” she said.
The River Rats struggled to find consistency early in the season but could be turning the corner at exactly the right time.
“An immediate team goal would be to start winning some games after a rough start to the season,” Siena says. “In our non-conference schedule, we played many top teams while adjusting to another new coach (the third new coach in their three years on varsity). We hope to build momentum going into the tournament.
“Personally, I want to take on a stronger leadership role because we have a young team with only two seniors.”
Both girls have already started figuring out life after high school.
“I hope to play sports in college,” says Siena. “I have the potential in both basketball and soccer and this has been a dream of mine since I was very little. It’s also very important to me that I go to a good school for my major. I am considering either biomedical engineering or physical therapy. I plan to continue to work hard in school and on my game so that I keep as many doors open as possible.”
Jadyn’s dream also has been to play college basketball – and that door is certainly still open.
“I want to study engineering or computer science,” she says. “I would also like to incorporate 3D design because I like to draw and do computer modeling. Because of this, I want to go to a very good engineering school, and I hope to find a great match with both basketball and school.”
Right now, the two sisters have the best match of all – school, basketball and family (not necessarily in that order).