Smith, Hines win PrepXtra Player of the Year

Qua Hines and Luke Smith highlighted the dozens of athlete who won awards at the PrepXtra Basketball Banquet

Knoxville Catholic's Luke Smith and Gatlinburg-Pittman's Qua Hines won the PrepXtra Boys and Girls Player of the Year award, respectively.

The two athletes received their awards Wednesday at the PrepXtra basketball banquet at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Smith, a senior point guard for the Fighting Irish, is a Class AA Mr. Basketball finalist and a TSWA All-State selection. He averaged 19 points and 6.5 assists per game in the 2016-2017 season. Thanks in part to Smith's leadership, Knoxville Catholic rode a 28-game win streak to its first state tournament appearance since 2006.

Catholic finished just one win short of a state title, but Smith said Wednesday he enjoyed every moment of his final season.

"Probably the most fun I've ever had with a team," Smith said. "Wish we would've won a state championship, but you'll remember the other things. We shared the ball well. I think Coach [Mike] Hutchens probably said we had the most assists of a team he's ever had. Really, they couldn't guard one of us so they had to guard all five of us. Not many people could do that." 

Hines averaged 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. The senior guard was a part of a Lady Highlanders team that achieved its first ever state tournament berth in program history.

She went to state as a member of Fulton's girls basketball team as a freshman. After the death of her father, Hines moved to Gatlinburg and called up coach Katie Moore - who won PrepXtra Girls Coach of the Year.

"I feel like it gave the community a lot of hope," Hines said. "I had to bring something to the table if I was going to move. It just felt really good to see the smiles on [the fans'] faces." 

The talented Hines will take her talents to Lincoln Memorial University in the fall, where she'll play for the Railsplitters.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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