By Marissa Nellis
Basketball has always been a passion of Rylie Smith’s, but juggling her athletic career, school life, a job, and a young daughter is a lot of hard work.
“Basketball was really my first love,” said Smith, FM’s current shooting guard on the girls’ basketball team, “but trying to find that balance between taking care of [my daughter] Raegan and going to school is challenging.”
Smith says Raegan is always there at all of her home games. “The team loves her. She’s always showing them her baby dolls,” said Smith. However, when away games come up, Smith doesn’t always get to see her daughter. “Practices are easy ‘cause I’ll be home around 5, but whenever I have an away game, I don’t really get to see her. She’s usually sleeping by the time I get home.”
Smith is a starter for the girls’ basketball team and has been nicknamed “The Shooter” because “she’s always shooting three’s.” She led the team in scoring with a total of 13 points in their first game of the season against Delhi University on Nov. 1. The girls came out strong and won the game 84-48.
Beyond FM, Smith wants to pursue a degree in Radiology to become an ultrasound technician. She originally wanted to be a Physical Education teacher, but has since changed her mind. “I always liked the idea of running around and playing games and stuff, but when thinking about Raegan, I want to do something that’ll help me take care of her,” said Smith.
Smith said she got the idea to become an ultrasound technician when she watched her sister get an ultrasound done. She said, “I talked with the woman [who gave the ultrasound] after we were finished and she kind of inspired me. She told me about how she went to school for it and said it was a really good thing to get into. She told me she loves it and I realized that I would love it too because I love babies.”
As for continuing her basketball career, Smith is still not sure what she wants to do. “I’m still thinking about it, but coach keeps pushing me to do it. He’s suggested a few colleges like Sage and SUNY IT, but I’m still not sure if I want to continue.” Either way, “The Shooter” says that her daughter will always come first.