Jaclyn Shambaugh Staff writer @jaclynshambaugh

Marquie Smith’s relationship with basketball has been on-again, off-again throughout his life.

But he’s always bet on himself when it comes to chasing down his dreams.

“I’ve always been a believer in me,” Smith said. “My mom and dad always told me that I can achieve anything that I want to achieve. In my heart, I wanted to be a basketball player.”

Consider Smith to be in a full-blown love affair with the sport again, having achieved his dream of becoming a professional basketball player.

In his first season for A.E. Boet Mataro, a club just north of Barcelona, Spain, the 25-year-old has made a splash, winning the dunk contest at the All-Star Copa Catalunya in January.

Smith grew up in a military family, with both parents active duty and his mom making a career of 22 years in the Army.

A change in duty stations landed the family at Fort Bragg while Smith was in high school.

“When I first came to Overhills, I came from Washington state, so I was a standalone,” Smith said. “First it was difficult to get into the culture or what type of things people like. I listened to different music, had different interests.

Read more…