Arizona commit Ray Smith calls ACL tear ‘a blessing’

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Two weeks ago, Ray Smith, a top 10 player in the Class of 2015, committed to Arizona. He originally planned to make that announcement on Sunday evening, telling Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star that he believed his team, Dream Vision, would be in the adidas Super 64 final. And what better way to cap off your summer than a live college announcement on ESPNU?

Unfortunately, Smith’s summer came to a sudden end when he torn his ACL. The 6-foot-7 wing has taken everything in stride since the injury, he told Pascoe.

“I go through days. Things happen. People die. People get hurt. You look every week, and there’s a kid who tore his ACL,” he said. “A lot of people say ‘Why me?’ But my question is, why not me? What have I done that’s so special to not get this to happen to myself? I look at it as a blessing. Once I get through it, I’ll have a story of how I dealt with the obstacle of a torn ACL, how I stayed positive and how I can be a role model for people who tore their ACL or might tear their ACL.”

Pretty impressive statements from a 17-year-old, and a positive sign for the Wildcats.

Smith is one of two five-star recruits Sean Miller has in his Class of 2015, along with shooting guard Justin Simon. Smith, who shot up the recruiting boards with his play on the grassroots circuit, could play a big role in the 2015-2016 season for the Wildcats. Forwards Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could both end up being first round picks in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Smith had surgery on his knee last week, according to Pascoe.