Washington prep star Malia Smith set to join Tarleton women’s basketball


STEPHENVILLE – One of the best prep 3-point strokes in the state of Washington will soon be on display in Stephenville. 

Indeed, Tarleton women’s basketball head coach Misty Wilson announced on Friday that Seattle sharpshooter Malia Smith is joining the program ahead of the 2021-22 season. 

A 5-5 guard, Smith has connected at a 43.2 percent clip from downtown over a four-year playing career at Glacier Peak High School. Smith owns the Grizzlies school record for most made 3-point field goals in a single game (eight). As a junior, she tied the record for single game three-pointers in a WIAA Girls Basketball State Tournament game with six. 

“Malia will bring a great deal of energy and passion to our team,” Wilson said. “She is really ready to get back into the competition side of the game of basketball, having lost most of her senior season due to COVID. Malia is the ultimate competitor and is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Malia is also a great 3-point shooter and plays the game with a great deal of confidence. We look forward to seeing how Malia develops during her four years here.” 

She averaged 10 points per game during the 2019-20 season and is rated a three-star recruit by ProspectsNation.com. Smith is also a capable ballhandler and elite foul shooter, having posted a 2.3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio as a junior and 81.4 percent career free throw percentage. 

Smith guided GPHS to consecutive WIAA 4A State Tournament semifinal appearances as a sophomore and junior. She scored 18 points behind six 3-point field goals in a quarterfinal victory in 2020 to advance the Grizzlies to the semis and an eventual third-place finish. Smith received second team All-WESCO accolades at the conclusion of her junior season. 

GPHS is scheduled to begin its 2021 girls basketball season on May 3 following Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement to move Washington to Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan in March. 

Smith becomes Tarleton’s ninth announced roster addition this spring. She joins fellow guards Mason Jones (Panhandle HS), Crystal Smith (Tompkins HS), Tyler Jackson (Louisiana Tech), Jurnee President (St. Bonaventure) and Nikki Petrakovitz (Oak Ridge HS), forward Nya Mitchels (UNCW) and center Hannah Matthews (Abilene Christian). 

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