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In the News

Czech Republic Basketball Star Signs With NWC

Posted by: Trapper Athletics — August 8, 2019

By DON COGGER Tribune Sports Writer
Courtesy of the Powell Tribune

Adela Smutna To Become Lady Trapper

A Czech Republic basketball phenom who was heavily recruited by several four-year programs will instead begin her collegiate career as a Lady Trapper. 

Adela Smutna, a 6-foot forward who most recently played for the Czech Republic’s U20 national team, has signed a letter of intent to play for Northwest College. Lady Trappers’ head coach Camden Levett said signing Smutna was a huge get for NWC. 

“That’s high-level basketball when you’re representing your country against different countries,” Levett said. “Her most recent stats for U18 Czech Republic, she was playing 31 minutes a game, averaging just under 10 points and 5.6 rebounds a game.” 

Solid numbers to be sure, but it was the Smutna’s stats behind the arc that really caught her new coach’s attention.

“She shot 43 percent from the 3-point line, which is a pretty good clip,” he explained. “But what’s really impressive is the 3-point line in FIBA [International Basketball Federation] is 2 feet back from the college 3-point line. She’s a 6-foot lefty who’s played a lot of high-quality basketball.” 

Smutna began playing basketball when she was 9 years old, first in her hometown of Hranice and then in Ostrava, a town near Poland. 

“I played in the highest women league in Czech,” she said. “I was playing basketball and I was studying there, too. And now I’m player for Northwest College.” 

Every recruit has a different story, according to Levett, and Smutna’s road to Powell, Wyoming, has been an interesting one. It starts with former Trappers men’s coach and current NWC athletic director Brian Erickson having a conversation with the men’s coach from Weber State. 

“It turns out the coach from Weber State was recruiting a guy from the Czech Republic, and in doing that ended up speaking with Adela [Smutna], who has the same agent as the men’s player,” Levett said. “I got her name through them, and we made some contact with her. But this was early in the summer, so we weren’t expecting anything to really come of it.” 

Levett had heard through sources that Smutna was fielding offers from schools in the Pac-12, the Big East and “a bunch of mid-major programs.” With that much interest, Levett didn’t like his chances, but the second-year coach is nothing if not persistent. 

“We went a couple of months without talking, and I hit her [Smutna] up again,” he said. “Her agent basically just said, ‘Hey, you know what? If you send us an offer, we check you guys out, we’ll sign it and send it back.’ I got our AD to sign the letter of intent, I went and found President [Stefani] Hicswa and she signed it. We sent it, Adela signed it, sent it back. It all really took place in one day, when we got down to it. It was crazy.” 

As for what sold Smutna on NWC, Levett said the style of basketball the team likes to play, coupled with an international program that’s second-to-none in the state of Wyoming, was too good for the talented player to pass up. 

“We are very fortunate to have her, and what really sold her on us was the style of ball we want to play and our international program,” Levett said. “That program was really something she was excited about. Those two over there — Amanda Enriquez and Kara Ryf — they’ve been great to work with. We’re so fortunate to have that program at NWC.” 

Levett coaches a style of play Smutna said she’s used to, so the transition should be a smooth one. 

“I heard that coach [Levett] has European style of coaching so this is good for me because I’m European,” Smutna said. “And I think this is the best opportunity to move to the better level of basketball in the next years.” 

If things go according to plan, Smutna will be boarding a plane for Wyoming on Aug. 15. Levett said Smutna has played primarily on the wing for the Czech national team, though with her athleticism, she would be a good fit anywhere on the court. 

“To me, she’s a basketball player that can do it all,” the coach said. “She can post up, she likes to shoot the threes. That trail spot for us is someone who needs to be versatile and do both. That’s kind of the idea, but you know what? If she’s one of our best guards, she’s gonna play at guard.” 

The scouting report on last season’s Lady Trappers was that the team was scrappy, but undersized. Levett said this year, lack of size will not be an issue. 

“The biggest difference between this year and last year is last year we had one girl over 6 feet; this year we have five,” Levett said. “It’s going to be fun. It’s gonna look different in warm-ups.” 

With the start of fall classes just a couple of weeks away, players are already arriving on campus and preparing for life in the classroom and on the courts. And as exciting as the start of a new school year is for Levett and his players, October and the start of the preseason can’t get here soon enough. 

“We just have to get all this talent that we’re bringing in and returning and get them to buy in, get them to gel,” Levett said. “We definitely have the talent to compete in the Region IX North. Getting a player like this [Smutna] that’s heavily recruited, it helps. A lot of coaches liked what they saw in her.” 

Asked what she’s looking forward to the most about attending NWC, Smutna said starting an adventure in a new country tops the list, as well as meeting new friends. 

“I’m really looking forward to meet my new teammates and for the different style of basketball. Actually everything will be different than in Czech, so I can’t wait to be there and meet everything new,” she said. “In this sport I always enjoy the support from our fans and from the teammates and I really like to enjoy the time with my teammates on the court or somewhere. But it is easy. I love basketball so I enjoy everything.”