Melvin Smith arrived at Texas Wesleyan University in August 2017 as a basketball commit, striving for a psychology degree. It was a decision based off his unique skill set, and what fit his personality the best.
Smith will graduate this December after a coronavirus plagued senior year. Although, COVID-19 didn’t stop Smith from earning his degree, it certainly tampered with the routine that he was familiar with.
“COVID-19 has impacted me in many ways,” Smith said. “It caused me to not be able to interact as I would like my senior year. This has been challenging for me because I am a social person and enjoy in-person classes.”
The quarantine did not stop Smith, who has been known for his optimistic personality on and off the court, from communicating with peers and mentors.
“I have been able to reach out and establish stronger relationships with others virtually, so it’s not too bad,” Smith said. “COVID-19 has made my senior year much different, but I am still thankful that I will be graduating this fall, either virtually or in-person.”
The person that has influenced Smith’s journey most is Men’s Basketball Head Coach Brennen Shingleton. Shingleton has inspired Smith to be a leader on the basketball court and in the classroom, and the two have the upmost mutual respect for each other.
“Melvin has been everything that we as coaches and representatives of Texas Wesleyan search for to represent our program and student-athletes. He’s humble, polite, smart and hard-working. Melvin is on a fast track to success,” Shingleton said.
Smith is hopping on the fast track right after graduation with plans to attend the University of North Texas and acquire his master’s degree in sports psychology.
“The future for Melvin is nothing less than what he chooses to do,” Shingleton said. “I’m so happy to have been a small part of his journey. I know his family is extremely proud, as are we, that he is leaving his legacy here.”
Story by William Doctor