Known as ‘Allen Iverson of Golf’, Here’s Why 15YO Rising Star Reminds Family of 76ers Legend

Published 10/07/2023, 1:10 PM EDT

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Allen Iverson’s impact on basketball culture is tremendous. He is viewed as an icon who helped change the way people played the game. The youth wanted to be like him. Even though most did not have the talent that he did, a young 15-year-old currently in Philadelphia is getting compared to the Answer.

Zoey Smith is the only member of her school’s golf team. But she is not getting compared to the Philadelphia 76ers legend for her effort on the field, rather for something that AI is iconically remembered for.

The 15-year-old sensation is ready to be the answer


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Zoey was introduced to the sport by her father when she was just 4 years old. She is 15 years old now but has not played competitively for the past 4 years. Zoey and her dad, Michael Smith, used to take trips to the Walnut Lane Golf Club. Zoey was a natural at the sport and won a few tournaments when she was young. But when her father passed away in 2019, she stopped competing.

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With support from her school, Zoey won the Public League girls’ individual golf championship. Zoey said, “I would like to play golf in college. I would like a scholarship to Stanford.


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Smith wanted his daughter to be different and get a scholarship for a nontraditional sport. Zoey’s mother, Atiya Clements-Smith, said that Smith used to learn everything about the sport and taught it to Zoey. Zoey has natural talent and a feel for the club in her hands. The future is bright for the young talent if she puts in more effort with her natural talent. But the funniest part of this is her mom joking about her process.

Atiya said, “Zoey doesn’t like to practice; she just wants to play. After a match, she would never want to go back to the driving range and hit balls. She would want to leave and go get something to eat”.

This led to her jokingly calling her the Iverson of golf. Iverson’s iconic rant about practice is etched into the minds of the fans. Especially for the Philadelphia natives who have witnessed the impact of Allen Iverson on the community.

The practice rant by Allen Iverson

The relationship between Allen Iverson and Larry Brown fell apart completely after the team’s early exit from the playoffs in 2002. Four days after their playoff exit, Iverson was late for a meeting. As he arrived a few hours later, Brown questioned Iverson if he was drunk. Iverson denied the accusation. Brown would often talk back at Iverson for not participating in team practices.


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Iverson was there to announce to the media that he would be back to run it again for a shot at the championship. But the media was asking him about his dedication to the team and his missing out on practice sessions. Iverson went against the journalists and talked and joked about the whole situation. Even though he talked in a light manner, his words were heavy.

Iverson said, “We talking about practice. Not a game. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last. It’s not the game. We talking about practice man.”

Iverson was also dealing with personal struggles at the time, as he lost one of his closest friends. So Iverson did the best he could with everything that was happening. He averaged 31 ppg that season and just got eliminated from the playoffs. But he still had to defend himself in front of the people about his commitment to the game.


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Do you think Larry Brown was justified for being upset? Let us know in the comments!


Written by:

Rijin Varghese


One take at a time

Rijin is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the NBA for over a decade. He likes to learn about the nuances of sports, understand every player's contribution to a team, and also learn the logic behind player signings and team building.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph