Knicks news: Dennis Smith Jr. honored in hometown of Fayetteville, presented with key to the city
The city of Fayetteville in North Carolina honored their very own hometown boy Dennis Smith Jr. and presented him with the key to the city. The New York Knicks guard was all smiles in his return to his neighborhood as they celebrated National Night 2019, their community’s annual gathering.
Upon receiving the prestigious honor from the city mayor himself, Smith Jr. couldn’t help but compare the feeling to the time that he got drafted.
"It's almost like the feeling of being drafted. It's the highest honor for the city." The residents of Fayetteville, NC presented their very own @dennis1smithjr with the key to the city last week 🔑 Congrats, Dennis 🙏 pic.twitter.com/q3LAESCg0U
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) August 17, 2019
It’s always nice to discover this side of the stars we don’t normally see on the hardwood.
NBA players usually spend their summer going back to their roots. They spend majority of their time on the road and in the gym, and getting some quality time with their family and friends is something they probably long for during the grueling season.
Smith Jr.’s basketball journey started in Fayetteville. He played high school ball at Trinity Christian School, where he became a five-star recruit. Unfortunately, during his senior season, Smith Jr. tore his ACL which forced him to miss his entire senior campaign.
After this visit, Smith Jr. will probably begin his focus on the upcoming NBA season. Despite an underwhelming offseason, the Knicks are looking to develop their young prospects, which includes DSJ.
The 21-year old guard had an injury-riddled campaign in 2018-19 and appeared in just 53 games. He split his time with the Dallas Mavericks and the Knicks last season, averaginh 13.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 42.8 percent clip from the field.
Perhaps a healthy summer and a defined role as the lead point guard in New York — as well as a prestigious honor from his hometown — can help him have a breakout 2019-20 campaign.