March 14, 2013

GC Basketball’s Smith to Represent PBC on Division II 40th Anniversary Team

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INDIANAPOLIS – To celebrate the 40th anniversary of NCAA Division II, the NCAA offices have worked with conference commissioners to produce a 40th Anniversary Tribute Team. Georgia College basketball alum Dr. Amy (Amundson) Smith was named as the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) women’s student-athlete representative.

Dr. Smith serves as a member of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Specialty Section at MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando.

“I was fortunate enough to have crossed paths with Amy in her time as a student-athlete at Georgia College when I came here as an assistant coach,” said Wendell Staton, GC Director of Athletics. “Even then, you could see strong evidence of the balance in her life that the NCAA Division II holds so dear. She was, and remains a great example of the successes that can come from hard work. We’re honored to call her an alum.”

Dr. Smith was a member of GC women’s basketball from 1988-92, the formative years of the PBC, while completing a pre-med degree in biology. She also held a music minor, focusing on playing the piano.

“I loved being a student-athlete,” Dr. Smith said. “The combination for me is what made college fun. I loved being part of a team; it was like having a ready-made family in many ways. There is a richness that comes when you are part of a team, sticking together even when things are tough, appreciating that everyone on the team is important regardless of what position they play or how much game time they see.”

Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Smith received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. She completed an internship and pediatric residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, where upon completion, she continued her training by completing a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology and bone marrow transplantation with special training in pediatric neuro-oncology.

Prior to joining MD Anderson – Orlando, Dr. Smith worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida with a joint appointment to the Department of Neurosurgery, McKnight Brain Institute.

Dr. Smith has received many honors and awards including the Best Doctors in America distinction in 2009 and 2010 and the 2010 Royal Lady award from the Ocala Royal Dames for Cancer Research for her advocacy on behalf of childhood cancer patients.

Despite the long list of professional success, Dr. Smith was excited about the NCAA’s honor.

“I am so surprised and yet thrilled to be named for this honor,” she said. “I feel very grateful that Georgia College would nominate me and even more privileged to be chosen.”

Dr. Smith and her husband Keith Smith, also a Georgia College graduate in business and finance, have been married 17 years and have an eight-year-old son, Lucas.

Developed through a partnership with the Division II Conference Commissioners Association, the 40th Anniversary Tribute Team highlights one male and one female from each of the division’s 23 current conferences, plus two at-large nominees. Conferences were asked to submit a list of nominees representative of Division II’s ideals.

“This group of former student-athletes is meant to reflect the core values of Division II athletics,” said Josh Looney, associate director of Division II. “Commissioners have helped identify a diverse group of championship individuals from Division II’s 40-year history. Not only did these former student-athletes act as champions in athletics and in the classroom, they’ve gone on to live championship lives as well.

“This group is a true representation of Division II’s commitment to providing its student-athletes a ‘Life in the Balance’ that extends beyond athletics.”

Each member of the Division II 40th Anniversary Tribute Team will receive a commemorative 40th Anniversary gift and will have their accomplishments profiled through Division II media channels.

The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/BobcatSports and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.