If you follow Colorado basketball, you already know a few things about Buffs senior Haley Smith.
You know she was a four-year starter and played a significant role in the just-completed turnaround season. You know she finished her career as one of just 29 1,000-point scorers ever for Colorado and one of just 15 players in CU history with at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
You also know she never took a night off. She spent four years with the Buffs playing her heart out every practice, every game. Anyone who watched Smith play knew her effort was never, ever in question.
But what you might not know is that Smith is the kind of student-athlete who makes Buffs fans proud to be Buffs fans.
"Haley is the perfect representation of a student-athlete at the University of Colorado," said Chris Howlett, CU's academic coordinator for women's basketball. "She excels in the classroom, she excels on the court, she does everything the right way, she doesn't cut corners. I've never had to ask Haley to do anything; she's always out in front of what I'm asking everybody else to do. She just epitomizes and really defines what an exceptional student-athlete looks like."
Smith will graduate this semester with a degree in mechanical engineering and a grade-point average north of 3.67. She is a three-time member of the dean's list, a three-time All-Academic Pac-12 team member, a seven-time member of the athletic director's honor roll and one of three recipients for this year's Byron R. White Leadership and Initiative Award.
Smith will enroll next fall at Stanford in pursuit of a master's degree in mechanical engineering. After that, she hopes to begin a career in a research and development setting in the field of biomechanics.
But no matter how her time in Boulder starts becoming more and more of her past, there are moments she knows she will never forget.
"I can't imagine having gone through college without all these experiences," Smith said. "The people I've been surrounded by, the people I've been able to meet, the people who have been such an influence and impact on my life—it's been amazing. I've had so many opportunities to do so many things, to have so many different experiences, it's hard to think about not taking advantage of all those things."