Academics, Athletics, Local, Park Forest, Schools

Rich East Stellar Student: Meet C.J. Smith

C.J. Smith Rich East High School
C. J. Smith, a Rich East Stellar Student. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- It’s been a few years since this series ran: Rich East Stellar Students. There are and have been a lot of them. Very happy to bring back these articles, beginning with a young man you definitely want to get to know. C.J. Smith loves basketball, has played football, and wants to get into a criminal justice program in college.

We caught up with C.J. at Rich East’s basketball camp last month. There were a lot of students on the court. C.J. worked patiently with the other students and listened carefully as new head coach Jamere Dismukes offered direction and critiques.

What does he think of Rich East?

“I actually like it here,” C.J. Smith told eNews Park Forest. “The coaches, they treat us real good and they want to get us better, they want to get us to college, but we just got to put in the work to do it.”

C.J. will be in his third year at Rich East. The 6’8″ athlete came to East from Morgan Park where he played football.

“This is my third year playing varsity,” he said. “I played a little bit of varsity in sophomore year. I came in my junior. I was the only junior starting, so, I take a lot of pride in that and this year we just got to work, got to grind.”

On the football field, he plays tight end or linebacker. but says he’s not sure if he’ll be on the gridiron this year.

“I think I am just going to focus on basketball,” he said. “I need my body for basketball. That is the sport I love; I want to actually play in college but I got to get ready for the next level.”

Plans for college yet?

“It’s wide open still,” C.J. sais. “I got a lot of colleges going through my head still but I am starting to come to an agreement with myself to start applying to what colleges I want to go to.”

His dream job right now?

“I want to get into criminal justice,” he said. “I want to be a forensic scientist.”

We wish Mr. C.J. Smith a healthy and competitive upcoming year with the Rockets and continued success in his focus on academics and applications to colleges.