Zhaire Smith has packed on some pounds this summer, most recently weighing in at 212 as he continues to grind in the weight room over the offseason.
"I've got a lot of goals, especially in the weight room, to get bigger, stronger and faster," Smith said at the Sixers Summer Shore Tour in Wildwood, New Jersey.
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There's a reason that when you ask Smith about his goals this summer, he always makes a reference to the weight room.
After a severe allergic reaction nearly takes away your entire rookie season, leaving you in a hospital for weeks and with feeding tubes for months, gaining back the 40 pounds (and some) you lost becomes a pretty important goal.
"With all I've been through the past 12 months, and it's been a crazy ride, a lot of bumps in the road, but we here now and I'm not looking back."
If that crazy ride he's been on has taught him one thing, it's this:
"I know not to take the game for granted and work hard every day, like it's my last."
If you talk to those around Smith, you'll find out quickly that working hard isn't something the young guard takes lightly. He also knows that minutes aren't going to be handed to him, and he's ready to get to work.
"To get in the rotation, play hard and just do what I do and have fun with it," Smith said of his goals this season.
Smith is also looking forward to practices and bonding with his new teammates.
"It's going to be competitive. I can see it right now, that practice is going to be really intense and we are just going to go at it."
On top of that, Smith is ready to soak up all the knowledge he can, especially on the defensive end.
"I'm looking forward to asking questions and learning, so it's going to be a fun ride. I believe we are all going to bond together really quick and have a fun time."
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