From a rebound to reinventing

After being cut from the Neshaminy High School basketball team, Josh Smiler has found his new passion in YouTube


Kaelyn Blizard, Staff Writer

“Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond the failures,”  Joseph Campbell said. This very passion is what fuels Josh Smiler, Neshaminy High School student and avid basketball player, to be the best athlete he can be.  

Smiler began playing basketball when he was in third grade. He tried other sports like baseball, but none of them ever stuck the way basketball did. 

“No matter what day it is, I always think about playing basketball,” Smiler explained. 

He finds that balancing student life and athletics is the ultimate goal of being a student-athlete.

“…it’s important to be a student first and an athlete second,” Smiler said. “Take care of your grades, and the extracurricular activities [and] sports will take care of themselves.”

With the constant need for improvement, Smiler takes his training and practicing seriously. Even on days where his energy might be low, he understands the importance of regiment. 

“At the end of the day, it comes down to discipline,” Smiler expressed . “You have to have a positive and strong mindset regardless. When I don’t feel like practicing, I remind myself of why I play the sport, and to just get started.” 

However, a part of training is understanding and coming to terms with failure. Recently, Smiler was cut from the NHS basketball team, something that he had been working for all year. 

“It comes down to being ok with failure,” Smiler said. “What you can not do, is let that failure define you. They say everything happens for a reason, so eventually, that reason will become clear.”

While the team was something Smiler had been working for, he has now directed his energy towards his YouTube channel, “Josh Smiler Basketball.”

“I had spent a good portion of my high school basketball years experimenting and learning a lot from others, prompting me to ask myself: what if other kids out there knew these things?” Smiler explained. “Youtube is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, and challenge me, but also teach and connect with other basketball players around the world!”

Smiler’s channel was an idea that he had had for a while, but really started to take form more recently. Now, it is one of his fondest memories.

“I think the YouTube channel as a whole signifies a completely different path when it comes to my basketball career, but more importantly the idea that I am committed to helping other players get better at the sport I love,” Smiler stated. 

Part of his journey is teaching his audience to overcome any fears they may have when starting out.  

“Not feeling qualified enough to play basketball is something every player goes through,” Smiler said. “Almost anything in life takes practice, and basketball is just a sports extension of that.”

Even after playing for so many years, Smiler does not see himself getting tired of the sport. 

“No matter who, where, or what you play against, the sport can open so many unforeseen doors whether it’s through friendships, connections, business opportunities, or so much more,” Smiler remarked. “I think you get out what you put in…”

Currently, Smiler is preparing for the warmer weather and finding a potential summer season. However, he is still prioritizing school over a team. 

“I really wanted to do AAU basketball, but given my new social media opportunities [and] work and preparing for college, I don’t think I’ll have the time to travel,” Smiler said.

It’s clear that Smiler has a dedication that not many players have. It is one of his defining qualities that sets him apart. 

“When I am playing basketball with friends or teammates, I think for a good time, nothing else in the world matters, not my grades, not what is due next week,” Smiler stated. “Creating that experience of fun and competition is my favorite aspect of the game.”