Andre Smyth a big talent with a big heart
By Chris Connell
March 31, 2010
He’s a big man with a big heart. Andre Smyth is not your prototypical university athlete. The 6’6, 220 pound centre from Windsor is a force to be reckoned with on the court.
The fourth-year biology major is no stranger to physical play but off the court he has some surprising attributes that many people are unaware of. Andre was born and raised in Windsor and went to Bellewood Public School, where he learned how to speak French fluently.
His love for basketball started young, about 6 years-old, after his parents attempted to place him in multiple sports. As soon as he got to playing the game at a young age, he knew that basketball was his calling.
After Bellewood Public School he went off to Vincent Massey Secondary School where he began to play basketball. This is where he really came into his own game. He was twice named first-team all-city and also averaged more than 20 points a game.
His basketball skills got noticed by the NCAA Division I at Central Michigan University and ended up getting significant court-time with them.
After Central Michigan, he transferred to the University of Windsor and has had lots of success. All these experiences he has had have made him a better basketball player and teammate, and have helped him grow not just as a player, but as a person as well.
His teammates have even given him a very unique nickname: Vince. His unique ability to slam dunk at an early age has given him the moniker.
He’s a hard worker on and off the court and is always is not only helps the Windsor community too. He regularly volunteers to help at the hospital during his spare time. Smyth knows, however, that it’s a team sport and without his teammates he couldn’t be the player he is. Recently, University of Windsor has been involved in a lot of come from behind wins and without a team identity, hard work, and dedication, it simply wouldn’t be possible. That “never say die” attitude has been with the University of Windsor team all season.
Andre’s accomplishments haven’t come without any hard work. His work ethic off the court with regards to training is second to none. Bench press, shoulder press, squats, are only a few of the exercises he performs to maintain his 6’6, 220-pound frame.
During this past summer it wasn’t uncommon to see him performing wind sprints along the football field outside at St Dennis center. He also works on his shooting regularly and performs drills on blocking shots, which is an asset to his game.
This year, with the help of his teammates, University of Windsor had one of their best seasons in the last few years. They finished atop the OUA west division with a 17-5 record, and easily made their way into the OUA final, losing to the Carleton Ravens, who claimed their third straight title. After qualifying for the CIS basketball championships, Andre and his squad finished fifth in the nation, losing early on to the eventual champion, the Saskatchewan Huskies.
Despite the team losses, Smyth played exceptionally well individually, recording two double-doubles in three games. In a post-tournament report, his coach, Chris Oliver, said that Smyth was in his opinion one of the best five players of the tournament.
Despite having one year of eligibility remaining, Smyth will not play basketball next year, opting to attend medical school instead.