Ja’Vonte Smart committed to LSU over the summer, so there's no mystery regarding which college the Scotlandville High School guard is scheduled to sign with.
The reasons the 6-foot-4 Smart decided to pick the Tigers remain the same, hours ahead of his signing ceremony set for 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Scotlandville gym.
“I have family, friends and fans who have been following me, watching me play for a while,” Smart said. “Staying home and playing at LSU makes it easier for everybody, especially my mom, to come see me play. That is just part of it. With the guys LSU has and the guys coming, I feel like we can do big things.”
Smart is the highest-profile area recruit set to sign Wednesday, which also signals the start of the high school basketball season. Zachary (boys) and St. Joseph’s Academy (girls) are scheduled to host basketball jamborees Wednesday. Jamborees continue through Saturday, with the regular season set to start Monday for schools in Class 5A to 1A.
Smart, a two-time Louisiana Mr. Basketball, averaged 25.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game as a junior. Madison Prep’s 6-6 Kobe Julien is set to sign with the Louisiana-Lafayette at 9 a.m.
Another interesting story involves three girls players from different schools who are scheduled to sign with McNeese State. Zachary guard Rayah Haynes (5-7) and Denham Springs' 6-2 post player Maia Robinson plan to sign Wednesday at their schools — Haynes at 10 a.m. and Robinson at 11 a.m. Holden's Kaylee Hughes (5-11) is scheduled to sign in January.
Four Central softball players are scheduled to sign with different schools at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday. Emily Danehower (Nicholls State), Kameron Jordan (Louisiana College), Krystal Stubbs (Baton Rouge Community College) and Broklyn Wascom (Belhaven) are the Wildcats’ signees.
• Southern Lab girls basketball player Cailain Williams is scheduled to sign with Southern at 1 p.m Friday.
The St. Joseph’s Academy Jamboree features four girls games and starts at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Zachary Jamboree begins at 5 p.m. and includes three boys games. Zachary will honor the family of Brian, a former LSU player and NBA pioneer, who led the Broncos to the Class B state title in 1941.
The schedule of Thursday jamborees includes the McKinley’s Carl Stewart Jamboree (boys) at 6 p.m., the Walker Jamboree (boys and girls) at 4, Tara’s Larry Grantham Jamboree (boys) at 4:30 and the St. Amant Jamboree (boys and girls) at 5:15 at Dutchtown. Madison Prep's girls jamboree is set to begin at noon Saturday.