Today, Devonte Smith tackles a new journey in life.
The former Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy quarter-miler travelled to Texas, the Lone Star State, to begin his Junior College (JUCO) career at South Plains College.
With a fondness for technology, Smith is expected to declare his major in Computer Science. Smith joins the extended ranks of other former track athletes for the Falcons to enter the collegiate ranks.
The former Falcon was a member of last year’s CARIFTA team as a member of the Under 20 boys’ 4x400m relay team. The quarter-miler finished fourth in the time of three minutes and 12.59 seconds (3:12.59).
He also helped his alma mater secure a silver medal in that same race at the High School Nationals held in New Providence, in the time of 3:21.68.
Like any other student-athletes traveling abroad, Smith said, his biggest hurdle now is adjusting to his new life. The Freeport News met with the Texans’ track athlete, where he voiced it’s all a matter of remaining focused.
“Right now, I’m just mainly thinking about having to start a new life. But you still have to stay focused, go off and do what I’m supposed to do without making a mistake or getting sent home,” he shared. “I’m thinking about pursuing a career in Computer Science so that’s what I’m going to study when I get there, as well as deal with my track responsibilities.
“So, I’m going to try and combine the two and try to make as much happen as possible.”
Talent aside, Smith felt the coaches at South Plains took a kinship to him based on his determination. Smith admitted he had been hard at work in making this become a reality, which made the coaches believe he would be a welcomed addition to the roster.
“I know I was set back like a year or so. But still, I didn’t give up trying and, in the end, I came out on top. To the coaches that made them feel as though I was someone who goes hard at what he wants to do.”
While maintaining his place as an employee in the workforce, temporarily, Smith kept abreast on his track workouts in preparation for an opportunity to come his way. He counted the experience as something that mentally prepared him to juggle his academics, while maintaining his edge in the sport he loves.
“That’s been a head start in showing me that’s what school is. When you get off to school, you have to do school work and balance track. So, it gave me a head start, mentally to know that’s what I’m going to be up against when I get off to school.”
While Smith would not shy away from stardom should this venture lead him down that path, he acknowledged that he enjoys flying under the radar. More than anything, upon completion of his tertiary education he would love to make it back home at some point and make a meaningful contribution here in Grand Bahama.
“I just like to be low key. That’s just the lifestyle I want to live after school if track doesn’t go where I see it going.”
He concluded, that there were many lessons he learned from his former high school coaches and teachers. “No matter how hard life can be, you have to keep God on your mind and with God you can do all things. They’ve taught us that through track and field and through words itself. So that helped me quite a bit while I was at Tabby.”