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Paducah Public Schools News Article

Joya and Jalisa Smith Sign Basketball Scholarships with Three Rivers College

“Joya and Jalisa are great defenders,” said Rod Thomas, who coached the Smith twins for four years. “They take their defense personally, and they enjoy playing defense. You have to have good defense to have a good program, and that’s been our strength the past few years. That’s in large part due to their efforts. Joya has had over 200 blocks for her career here, and Jalisa protects the paint very well. They have a lot of potential on the offensive side, and I expect both of them will continue to improve.”

Three Rivers College head basketball coach Jeff Walk said the Smiths had been on their recruiting list for a couple of years, and they liked what they saw when they visited games to watch them.

“One of our major weaknesses this year was inside rebounding strength,” said Coach Walk. “Joya and Jalisa have good size, and we see lot of upside about them. We will fine tune those skills and get them prepared for two years with us and hope to get them where they can go on and have some more success.”

Joya and Jalisa, who have played together since first grade, were pleased to have the opportunity to play together for at least two more years.

“Three Rivers College is not too far from home and I know a couple of the girls that are going to be down there from AAU, so we won’t be new to everyone,” said Joya. “It’s nice because I know how Jalisa plays, so I won’t have to get used to someone else’s style of play.”

For her part, Jalisa is just happy to know for certain that she’ll have someone familiar close by.
“It will be good going to college with Joya because at least I will know someone and won’t be totally new to everyone.”

Photo caption, l to r Row 1: Alisa Smith, Jalisa Smith, Joya Smith, Rodney Smith Row 2: TRC Assistant Coach Sheronda Powell, TRC Head Coach Jeff Walk, PTHS Girls Basketball Coach Rod Thomas, Roderic Smith

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