OTISFIELD — Marcus Smart looked at the tall pine trees, green grass and fresh water that surrounded him at Seeds of Peace and decided the kid who grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth suburbs could get used to this.

“I love the country. My dad’s from Paducah (Texas). I’ve been out there and it’s really just dirt. I wasn’t really fond of it,” he said. “But coming here and seeing this… I’ve always been an outdoor person, so this is right up my alley. I just happened to grow up in a big city.”

Smart, in Otisfield to take part in the Play for Peace basketball clinic at Seeds of Peace on Friday, eagerly anticipated taking a dip in Pleasant Lake. It would be a nice break from the whirlwind his life has become since the Boston Celtics selected the 6-foot-3 guard out of Oklahoma State with the No. 6 overall pick in the NBA Draft on June 26.

“It’s crazy because when I first declared (for the draft), I was, like, ‘Man, feels like a long time for the draft,” Smart said. “Then the draft came and it went by so fast. It’s over like (that). Now, the season’s getting ready to start. It’s here quick.”

Things started speeding up the moment Smart became a Celtic. First he flew to Boston to be introduced to the media, along with fellow first-round pick James Young, and work out with other Celtics rookies and free agents. Then it was on to Orlando to play in the summer league.

Although reviews of his performance in Orlando were mixed, Smart was pleased with his first opportunity to step onto the court as a Boston Celtic.

“I am a little disappointed James didn’t get to play (because) he had a concussion,” he said. “I didn’t get to play with him and get a feel out for him. But it worked out the way it did. I had a blast in summer league. Everybody did. We just enjoyed being together.”

Smart accepted an invitation to participate in practices and scrimmages against the U.S. National Team in Las Vegas and caused a stir by going toe-to-toe with Washington Wizards All-Star John Wall.

Former Celtic Brian Scalabrine, now an analyst for Comcast Sports New England, thinks Boston found a cornerstone for its rebuilding project.

“Marcus is one of the most competitive guys in college basketball in a long time,” Scalabrine said. “Competitive guys in the NBA are the ones that eventually become staples of organizations.”

Smart already feels in sync with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

“I love Coach Stevens. He’s a great coach,” he said. “You can definitely tell he cares about his players. He’s a young coach but he’s learning just like we are.”

Scalabrine isn’t worried about the Stevens finding a fit for Smart in Boston’s crowded backcourt, which also includes Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley.

“He can guard the one, guard the two, guard the three. When you can guard three positions, there are minutes for you in the NBA,” Scalabrine said. “If you put Rondo on the ball, you can play (Smart) off the ball. Guys who can guard multiple positions are very, very valuable in the NBA.”

Defense is Smart’s calling card. Despite averaging 16.6 points per game in two years at Oklahoma State, his shooting and scoring will be heavily scrutinized during his rookie year.

Scalabrine likes the strides Smart has already made at the offensive end.

“He’s a much better finisher around the basket than he was at Oklahoma State,” Scalabrine said. “He’s improved his shooting, as you could see against USA Basketball, when he hit five 3s.”

Remember, being outside is right up Smart’s alley.


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