Consensus top-5 player Jabari Smith signs with Auburn basketball

AUBURN, Ala. – Jabari Smith, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound forward from Tyrone, Ga., signed a National Letter of Intent with the Auburn basketball program, head coach Bruce Pearl announced Tuesday.

Smith is a consensus five-star forward by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals. He is rated as the No. 4 player in the country in the 2021 class by Rivals and No. 5 by 247Sports and ESPN. Smith is the highest-rated signee in program history.

Chosen as the No. 1 player from the state of Georgia, Smith averaged 24.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor, including 38 percent from 3, while playing at Sandy Creek High School.

“Competitive programs are built by bringing in really good people that want to work hard together to accomplish something special,” Pearl said. “What gets lost in Jabari being ranked as one of the top-5 players in the country is that he’s one of the top-5 people because of his character and his work ethic. That fits what we’re trying to do at Auburn.

“A skilled big that can play any position on the floor, he is a very difficult matchup. Being an hour and a half from his home, having Chuma Okeke and Isaac Okoro come before him and develop, seeing the environment of Auburn Arena firsthand, these were all factors that led to his commitment.”

Smith was tabbed as a MaxPreps Junior All-American and an all-state selection a year ago while leading the Patriots to a 25-5 record, including 12-0 in the region, and an appearance in the Class 4A state quarterfinals. Following the 2019-20 season, he was named the Junior of the Year in Class 4A.

As a sophomore, Smith averaged 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, two blocks, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 48 percent from the court as he led Sandy Creek to a 27-4 record, including 12-0 in the region.

More recently, Smith was named the Most Valuable Player at the Pangos All-American Festival when he racked up 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in a game that featured many of the top prospects in the nation.

Smith represented his country as he paced USA Basketball to a gold medal in the FIBA Americas U16 championship while averaging 13.8 points and 6.2 rebounds.

On the AAU circuit, Smith played for the Atlanta Celtics and led them to a championship in the Adidas Gauntlet series.

Smith is the son of Jabari Smith Sr., who played at LSU for two seasons before playing in the NBA in stints with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and the Sacramento Kings. Smith is also the cousin of 13-year NBA veteran Kwame Brown, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2001.