His final high school game was a memorable one for Jerry Smith. It would be the last time he would play for his coach and dad, Jerry Smith, Sr., at Wauwatosa East High, notching 46 points that night, just one point shy of the school’s single-game scoring record.
Smith scored 31 points in the first half of his final game, eventually raising his total to 46 with a three-pointer. That’s when it happened, the injury, fracturing a bone in his right foot. That would be the final prep game for Smith, a two-time Wisconsin All-State guard. No more games for Jerry, no chance of a state championship for Wauwatosa East.
Should come as no surprise to Card fans that Smith was injured while playing defense. Smith is relentless on that side of the ball, challenging his man’s every dribble, pass, and shot, making his role in a 2-3 zone resemble man-to-man coverage. Watch him play D against Georgetown. He’s all business, a great role model and pure inspiration for reserve Preston Knowles.
David Padgett, getting most of his shots around the basket, has a higher shooting percentage. But Jerry Smith is the Cards’ best shooter, hitting 47 percent of his field goal attempts and 39 percent from the three-point line. He is also hitting 77 percent of his free throw shots. No anxiety for fans or coaches when Jerry takes a shot, he rarely takes a bad one. If he’s open, the opposition is in trouble.
Smith does all he does so effortlessly, so smoothly that he often goes unnoticed. Just contributes in every way imaginable.