Like many kids, Ian Smith, of Bartlett, wanted to be a professional athlete, his sights set on the NBA. Although childhood dreams change over time, he showed up strong on the court to play Varsity for three years at his high school and continued to play for the Elgin Community College men’s basketball team. “It’s tough managing time as a student-athlete because you have to balance out school, your sport, and work, but I love being a part of the team,” said Smith. “It helps with my social life because I’ve made new friends and hopefully will be able to stay in touch with most of them after I graduate.”
Along with the opportunity to continue playing the sport he loves, Smith came to ECC because he wasn’t sure what he wanted to study, lived close by, and could work a part-time job. When he finishes at ECC, he’s setting his sights on transferring to a university to pursue marketing or business administration. Illinois State University and Iowa are in the mix, but “Hawkeyes all the way,” if he has a first choice.
Get to know one of ECC’s student-athletes a little more outside the classroom and off the court. Smith loves finding time to hang out with his nephew and appreciates the help and friendship he’s made with an ECC staff member.
What’s something you do outside of ECC? I spend time with my nephew. He just turned three in early January. I get to see him every once in a while, and I’m looking forward to going to his hockey games when he gets older.
Dogs, cats, or houseplants? Dogs! I have two dogs, Gigi and Holly. Holly is an Australian Shepherd, and Gigi is a mut; she’s a mix of boxer and lab, but everyone thinks she’s a golden retriever.
What’s your favorite spot on campus? The basketball court because that’s when I get to talk the most. In class, we can’t speak as much. On the court, I get to be social, play the sport I love, and hang out with my friends.
What’s one thing that really makes your day? The drive to ECC because that’s when I blast music in my car. When it's nice, I open up my sunroof, roll my windows down, and just get to scream it.
Shout on an ECC staff member or peer! Shout out to Melanie Schaefer, sports information and academic specialist, for helping out with us all and being a friend I get to talk to.