Rainier Beach wing Keith Smith is out for the season with a torn meniscus in his right knee, according to Vikings coach Mike Bethea.
Smith, a 6-foot-7 junior who scored 18.5 points per game in 10 contests this season, has major interest from Division I schools, including an offer from Washington.
“It’s unfortunate,” Bethea said. “Not so much the team, of course you think about the team, you think about the young man. What he’s been going through. It’s kind of tough. He’s in good spirits, he’s upbeat, he’s there cheering his teammates on every day in practice. It’s not like he’s checked out or anything. Actually, kind of an inspiration to his teammates.”
Smith felt a pop in his knee during the first half of a win against Eastside Catholic on Jan. 13., and hasn’t played since.
Without Smith, Rainier Beach will need to fill the void of a second scoring option to go along with Dejounte Murray, who is averaging 26.5 points per game.
Without Smith, the Vikings lost their first in-state game in more than a year, an 84-67 loss to Garfield on Jan. 19.
“We just got to find other ways to make up that 20 points a game. Whether that means stopping guys 10 points under their average and a couple other guys. We have some capable guys. Shadeed Shabazz, the kid Vincenzo Reiser, he’s starting to get in the groove of things and, Ivy [Smith is] starting to get into his little comfort zone. So we’ll be OK.”