Honoree has Selma connections

Published 8:34 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Vestavia High basketball player who was named “Scholar-athlete of the Week” by a Birmingham newspaper is surrounded by Selma connections.

Kathleen Smith of Vestavia received the honor July 22 in The Birmingham News. A basketball guard, she was voted MVP and made the all-area team as a junior, She was freshman female athlete of the year and received the Fran Braasch Lady Pirate Award.

As far as the scholar tag goes, Smith has a 4.04 GPA and made 30 on the ACT. She also is a member of the National Honor Society, German Honor Society, Peer Tutors, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was most athletic for Senior Who’s Who.

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Smith, the daughter of Bill and Suzann Smith of Vestavia, filled out a questionnaire that included the question: “Who has been a major positive influence on you?” Differing opinions exist for the answer.

Smith answered the question with “My grandfather, Grandy, because he has loved and supported me in everything I do and has taught me many valuable lessons I would not have learned anywhere else.”

“Grandy” is Jimmy Sherrer of Selma, who disputes the response.

“I feel her mother and father have had more to do with her academic and athletic career,” Sherrer said.

He did say his granddaughter was a frequent visitor at his Selma home. He moved to Selma in 1968.

“When she was not much more than a toddler, she started coming to Selma,” said Sherrer, who took Kathleen and her brother, Parker, hunting and fishing.

Suzann Smith, who graduated from Selma High School in 1980, said she believes her daughter — whose full name is “Kathleen Sherrer Smith” — is on the right track about “Grandy.”

“That man is something else,” Suzann Smith said. “He has a positive influence on everyone he touched.”

No wonder Kathleen’s “other interests” on the questionnaire included “spending time with my family, traveling, reading, hunting and fishing.”