One of the prime targets for Coach Nell Fortner and her staff is a talented five-foot-eight guard from Arab High School named Alli Smalley.
She led her team to the state championship game as a junior, averaging 20 points per contest. Smalley showed her considerable athletic talents at an Auburn basketball camp in June where she was one of the top players at the three-day event.
“The camp was really good,” Smalley tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. “Most elite camps you just play games, but at this one you learned a lot of fundamental things. I actually learned a lot.”
Auburn already has verbal commitments from Briarwood Christian point guard Ruth Ketcham and Jeff Davis High School of Montgomery center Cassie Moore. Both of those players joined Smalley at the Auburn camp.
Although Smalley can play both guard spots, when asked her favorite position, she says, “I prefer to play the two, especially against real quick guards.”
A player who broke into her high school team’s starting lineup midway through her eighth grade year, Smalley has a variety of scholarship offers. She says that three teams are the ones she is considering. “Auburn, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are my top three,” she says.
Smalley has a busy summer of basketball planned. She is playing as far away as Oregon with the Alabama Lasers, her AAU team.
When she rejoins her high school team as a senior, she says her squad will be challenged to match last season’s run into the Final Four after losing three starters. “We are struggling now,” she says. “We are really young. I think we will be all right later in the season.”
Smalley, who handles the ball well, has good court vision and an excellent shooting touch, says her focus this summer is on improving as a defensive player.
She also has played tennis, but is now concentrating on basketball, a decision that will pay off with a scholarship to a major college when she decides which college she would like to attend.
When asked what she would like to study in college, Smalley says, “I am really unsure right now. I thought about psychology and I have thought about education.”
2006 Inside the Auburn Tigers Auburn Football Guide
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