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Okemos Middle Schooler Trevor Smith Showing Potential As Big-Time Basketball Star

Trevor Smith
Erin Smith
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Smith, who stands 6-foot-8 at age 13, is turning heads with his height and play.

Athletes find their calling at various points in their life. Some realize their potential at an early age, while others bloom a little later.

For Trevor Smith, basketball big man at Chippewa Middle School in Okemos, the sky is the limit — even though he’s nearly up there. Smith stands 6-8 at the age of 13 and is already beginning to receive media attention as a seventh grader playing for the AAU basketball organization, “The Family.”

Top25scouts.com has Smith listed at No. 5 in its class of 2026 Top 100 basketball prospects. 

“Trevor’s been playing basketball ever since he was about 3-years-old in daycare,” said Erin Smith, Trevor’s mother. “Whenever nap time was over, they would go down to the gym, and he would always go to the hoop and throw it up on that Little Tikes basketball hoop. So, he showed an interest early, so we got him into upward when he was about four.”

Being the tallest is a liberty that Trevor has known for almost his whole life.

“He’s been growing pretty consistently about three inches every year since [nine or 10 years old],” Erin Smith said. “He’s always been the tallest in his class. [In] pre-school pictures, he’s literally a head and shoulders above all of his classmates.”

His height can be attributed to genetics, as his mother said it runs in the family.

“It’s been interesting to watch,” Erin Smith said. “My husband and I are both 6-5, so we anticipated that both of our kids would be tall, which they are, so to see that actually happening, it’s kind of surreal, because we didn’t really know how tall they would be.”

Trevor has abilities that most 13-year-olds don’t have — being able to find friends in crowded school hallways, reaching high-up items in the house without having to use a stool — but it’s a privilege he knows he cannot be too reliant on.

“Every year, you gotta get a little more fundamentally skilled, instead of just being big and tall and towering over everybody, you gotta work on your guard moves, ball handling, shooting all that, because at some point when I get older, everybody’s gonna be close to my height,” Trevor said. “That’s one of the things I’ve been doing.”

Marcel Smith, one of Trevor’s coaches from “The Family,” used words like “family-oriented,” “humble” and “leader” to describe the young hooper.

Trevor Smith
Credit Aidan Champion

“He has a happy-medium where he wants to do well, he knows the pressure that comes along with being a great player, but at the same time, he doesn’t get too far ahead of himself,” Marcel Smith said.

In terms of his place on the team, Marcel Smith said Trevor is “one of the guys.”

“They [Trevor’s teammates] love having him — they treat him just like everybody else,” he said. “There’s no special treatment because of him being so tall.”

Trevor Smith has already surfaced on social media platforms such as the “BallerTV” Twitter page back in February. 

“It’s pretty weird because I never really would have thought about, like, all this stuff would have happened at this age,” Trevor said. “I would think it would happen when I would get older in high school.”

As exciting as the early glimpses of fame may have been, there was the hitch of dealing with the naysayers poking their heads out in the back.

“I think it’s been interesting with social media because that’s something different, you know, from my and my husband’s generation to try to balance letting him have that,” Erin Smith said. “But he does a really good job — he’s better at it than I am about when people are negative.” 

She added, “People can say pretty rude things, and sometimes I think they forget first, he’s a kid. I mean even with collegiate sports, they forget that they’re still kids, but he’s 13 years old. But he handles it pretty well. He actually uses it, I think, to motivate him. I think it gives him fuel to prove people wrong that he’s not just tall, and he does have athletic abilities.”

Trevor said he will probably attend Okemos High School when he finishes middle school.

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