Elliott Smith, Cal State LA Men’s Basketball
Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA

This student athlete battled through a rigorous season, playing against the California Collegiate Athletics Association while getting acquainted with 11 new teammates. Forward Elliott Smith noted how playing for the Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles men’s basketball team has been a roller coaster.

The season had it’s share of “thrills” and “scary moments,” but the team had been improving later in the season, according to Smith.

“We feel like we’ve found our identity with how we want to play,” he said. “With division II, you have to do everything during the season, you don’t get a lot of time before the season or the summer to get all the plays and the schemes.”

While acquainting himself with new teammates, Smith helped the team earn a 13-15 record overall and an 8-6 record at home games. Smith averaged 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, reaching a season high of 21 points against the Dominguez Hills Toros in early January.

Smith, a sociology major, mentioned how time management is essential when balancing studying and practicing.

“That’s something I had to learn early on in college,” he said. “You have to know which are priorities and which things can come secondly.”

Smith enjoys writing, drawing, and reading. After graduating from Cal State L.A., Smith wants to follow his childhood dream of creating an entertainment label.

“I want to have three divisions in it, film, clothing, and music,” he said. “All the things that I envision and the messages that I would like to push in the world, in society, avenue it through the label and through clothing and through art.”

Like basketball, Smith began drawing as a child. He did not take his drawing seriously until he reached college and left home for the first time.

“I felt like I started gaining my own perspective, my own thoughts,” he said. “I started doing a lot of drawing and I [have] always been okay at it but I just figured out how to draw certain things.”

Life experiences give Smith the passion to draw. He mentioned how he moved frequently throughout the United States, visiting Florida, Utah and Philadelphia.

“I just kind of put that on a piece of paper, illustrate out what I’m thinking and what I’m going through,” Smith said.

Prior to attending Cal State L.A., Smith played basketball at Harcum College in Pennsylvania. He earned the NJCAA Division I Junior College All-American and competed in the NJCAA All-Star Game in 2016.

Smith enjoyed his years at Freedom High School in Oakley, CA where he played varsity for all four years. By the conclusion of his senior season, he was the all-time leading scorer at his high school.

“My high school days were very fun,” he said. “I feel like they were [what]  each team should experience.”