Lyons basketball

Lyons senior captain Justice Smith (12) eyes a shot as the Lions faced last season’s New York State Class C Championship runner-up Northstar Christian Academy on Friday night in a holiday tournament matchup at Geneva High School.

When you have a 6-foot-5 frame and put it to good use, you’re considered athletically blessed.

That is certainly the case with Lyons senior guard Justice Smith.

Smith, the Section V Class C2 tournament MVP in back-to-back seasons, is the Finger Lakes Times’ 2018-19 Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

“It means a lot,” Smith said. “It’s been my goal; last year it was my goal too. It’s cool to finally have it.

“It has been amazing, and now it’s the end of my career. I went out on the right note. We won sectionals. We were the best team in our league. We had a shot at winning the state championship, but we fell short.

On Feb. 26, Smith became the program’s all-time leading scorer in a 93-65 victory over Perry in the Section V Class C2 semifinals. The distinction was previously held by his coach, Dean Schott II. The two have built a tight-knit bond, especially this season.

“We’ve had a really close relationship,” Smith added. “We talked a lot about everything. He’s helped me a lot as far as becoming a better player and a better person. He’s helped me with my decisions as far as getting ready to go off to college, and it’s just been awesome.”

Speaking of college, Smith has plenty of options.

“Bryant University is interested in me,” he said of the Division I school in Rhode island. “I got to work out with them. I also have a few Division III offers. Daemen College has offered me — I’ll be able to go there — and maybe prep school is an option as well.”

No matter what happens at the next level, Smith was thrilled at how his final high school campaign turned out.

“It was awesome this year, a great season,” he said. “We were pretty dominant in our league and it was fun.”

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