Arguably one of the most well-known athletes around Loudonville, Kadeem Smithen has been at Siena College for four years. Transferring from Richmond after his 2015 season, and now beginning his fifth year playing collegiate basketball, Kadeem knows a thing or two about balancing school and sports during the year.
Starting his day around 8:30, during his morning breakfast Kadeem has to meet up with his assistant coaches in the dining hall where they go over footage from games in the past and upcoming opponents. During a time where most college students get to relax and not think about their daily obligations, Kadeem’s breakfast time revolves around basketball and film. As Kadeems leave the dining hall, he goes to HR Management class from 9:10-10:10.
Kadeem is majoring in business management, and doing a fifth year at Siena enables him to take more classes exploring his major before he leaves. Having already graduated in the spring, Kadeem is now taking higher level classes where he can become an expert in his field for potential future employment. Once his class is over, Kadeem quickly grabs lunch on campus and goes to the Marcelle Athletic Complex an hour early to prepare for his practice ahead.
During the time where a regular college student can be doing work for class, Kadeem has to commit time outside of practice to better his game. He goes to the athletic trainers before practice every day to get taped to make sure his past injuries do not get the best of him during a game. Tearing his Meniscus his second year at Siena, Kadeem still has to focus on recovering his knee daily before and after practice which requires more of his time. However, practice is not the only thing that shortens Kadeems academic time, the Siena basketball team as a whole has nearly 17 away games this season alone, a lot of which occur during the week. Kadeem says that this is one of the most challenging parts of playing basketball. Missing a class or two sometimes weekly for a game can cause lots of work to be made-up on later days.
After Kadeem’s two hour practice, he goes back to the trainers and the locker room to relax after working hard on the court. Then, he has dinner and for the rest of the night usually works on classwork, does laundry, or goes back to the gym and lifts additionally to his required practices.
Kadeem states that basketball is rewarding because, with his Siena team, it is basically a family. His teammates have essentially become his brothers on campus. One of the things Kadeem says that makes basketball especially hard is the time it takes away from his real family. Being from around Ajax, Ontario, he does not see his family much during the year. Also, over breaks, the team is usually on campus with games or practices. While most Siena students can go home during holiday breaks or during the summer, Kadeem spends most of his time on campus with his second family, his team.
As Kadeem looks to finish his final year at Siena in the spring, he’s going to miss his team once he leaves Siena for good. Look for Kadeem as you walk around campus or go to a game at the Times Union to cheer on the Saints to victory.