Smith installing "next level" mentality at youth hoops camp

Professional basketball player Ben Smith talks about his sixth annual youth camp this week at Dublin Middle School. /(Luke Hetrick, WGXA)

DUBLIN, GA -- Former Dublin basketball standout Ben Smith is preparing for his 8th professional season overseas.

Everyday the point guard is working to improve with another season in France awaiting. While he's not working out, he's teaching the game to aspiring basketball players. Smith returned to Laurens County for the sixth installment of his youth hoops camp at Dublin Middle School.

The camp focuses on teaching kids the fundamentals of the game, but Smith wants to teach them about attitude and determination.

"Telling them to find that next level," Smith. "A lot of kids they get were playing a lot of games, a lot of drills, and they get tired or they think they get tired. At this age, they're not really tired."

After a phenomenal career at Jacksonville University, the game has taken Smith all over the world. As he enters his fourth season in the French Pro League, Smith takes the lessons he is learning and applies them to his camp.

"I've been speaking to them about pushing through that and having fun and enjoying the process of getting better," Smith said. "Basically that's what it is. Enjoying the process of getting better and don't complain. Push through it. Our slogan is make buckets not excuses."

The camp wraps up Thursday at 3 p.m. at Dublin Middle School.

Smith and his wife are expecting their first child in November. The Dublin-native says he's excited to continue his playing career while starting his family as well.

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