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MAKING THEIR MARK: Class of 2017

Sam Borst-Smith: Excelling on the court

May 3, 2017

Crossing the country to Rochester from Los Angeles, Sam Borst-Smith didn’t know what to expect.

“I just wanted to take it as it came and see how it turned out to be,” the senior says.

He had been recruited to play basketball for the Yellowjackets and felt that Rochester would be the best fit. His involvement with the team was important in shaping his college experience.

graphic reads CLASS OF 2017

“It’s been honestly everything that I can ask for and more,” he says, adding that reaching the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Division III national championship during his senior year was a high note.

Borst-Smith earned eight major honors at the end of this season—including selection to the 2017 National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Division III All-America Team. He also won the 2016 State Farm Assist of the Year competition for an intentionally missed free throw and assist to teammate Mack Montague ’17 for a buzzer-beater in the February 7 overtime victory over the University of Chicago. Video of the clip went viral and was shared widely around the world.

In addition to his role as a guard on the basketball team and his studies in English, Borst-Smith is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has devoted time to Go4theGoal, a nonprofit organization that raises money for kids with cancer.

As he looks back on his time at Rochester, Borst-Smith says it’s the people who stand out the most.

“Coming to the East Coast really opened up my eyes and broadened my horizons, and I guess that you can say that it’s made me grow as a person. I’ve had a greater appreciation for many things because of doing that.”

After graduation he’ll be playing basketball professionally in Europe, something he says is both “exciting and nerve-wracking.”

“I’ve signed with an agent and will be just seeing where the game can take me,” he says.

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