Rising Above the Rim and the Bar: Allan Smith Dominates in High Jump and Basketball


Keeva Linton

Senior Allan Smith, a man of many talents, poses in one of his many Dub sports uniforms

With the school year entering its final weeks, we bid farewell to our seniors and draw our attention specifically to superstar Allan “AJ” Smith, a well-favored Dub athlete of the eleven stories. Allan Smith is a name that has become synonymous with marvelous feats on the court and the track. Smith has been making waves in basketball and high jump as a two-sport athlete, and his achievements have not gone unnoticed. As he reflects on his final season, we celebrate his many accomplishments.

With a towering height of 6’3″, it’s no surprise that Smith excels in basketball, having been a key player for the varsity basketball team since his junior year. His skills on the court have only improved with time. This season, he played as a power forward and center, helping lead the hooping Dubs through a difficult season. Smith’s presence on the court is undeniable and a valuable asset to his team.

Basketball isn’t the only sport AJ excels in. He is also a standout track and field jumper. Initially having his focus on just shooting, Smith credits his longtime peer and fellow athlete, class of 22’s Tobias Lewis, for pushing him to start high jumping. Smith jumped the school record at this year’s annual APS championships with a jump of 6-4; an inch above his height! This achievement earned him a personal record and a first-place title as district champion. Following his record-setting jump, Smith high jumped 6-4 again and long jumped 20-05–at the APS regionals–for the first time, qualifying for sectionals in both events at first (high jump) and fourth (long jump) places. Smith’s dedication to jumping is evident in his training regimen, which features a mix of technical mechanics he’s learned from basketball and track conditioning. “Certain workouts from basketball have helped me focus on specific aspects of my jumping technique,” Smith said. 

Smith’s motivations are deeply rooted in his personal life and those who have significantly impacted him. Unfortunately, Smith’s father Allan Sr. passed away last season. While this was a devastating loss, he has used his father’s memory as one of the biggest motivators in his athletic career. His father’s impact can be seen through some of his many tattoos, which Smith got in his memory. In addition to his father, another inspiration for Smith has been Memphis Grizzlies point-guard Ja Morant, whose work ethic and determination have inspired the athlete.

Perhaps the biggest influence in AJ’s life has been his mother, Mrs. Zosia Smith. As a single parent, she has worked tirelessly to support Smith and has always encouraged him to pursue his passions, attending every sports activity and cheering him on from the sidelines. Smith says his mother’s unwavering support and encouragement have been crucial to his success. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mom because she’s always been there for me no matter what,” he said. 

Whether listening to his favorite warm-up tracks by Future or practicing his moves on the field and court, Smith’s dedication to his craft and passions are evident in everything he does. He is a true athlete, and his commitments to extracurriculars and school are impressive. On the weekends, Smith can be found rushing from track meets to competitions for North Atlanta’s marching band, where Smith plays snare drums. When asked about his success, he credits his coaches and teammates. His humility and team-focused attitude make him such a valuable and well-rounded asset to any team he’s on. “My coaches have pushed me to be the best athlete I can be, and my teammates have always had my back,” AJ said.