Matt, Kylie Smith athletic cousins with ample success
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
March 10, 2018

Their last name is Smith. Their athletic careers have been anything but common.

Matt and Kylee Smith are cousins. Matt is a Seneca Valley graduate, helped coach Butler to the WPIAL basketball finals last year and underwent Tommy John surgery as a pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers system shortly thereafter.

Kylee is the daughter of former Butler basketball standouts Mark and Jody Imbrie Smith. She is a 5-foot-11 senior guard and leading scorer on the 23rd-ranked Belmont University women’s basketball team in Nashville, Tenn.

The two grew up supporting each other.

“Our families have always been close,” said Bob Smith, Matt’s father. “My brother’s family lives in Georgia and Matt stayed with them when he pitched in tournaments down there.

“They’ve come up to Pittsburgh for family gatherings, we’ve gone to ballgames together, it’s been that way for years.”

Now deep into their respective athletic careers, Matt and Kylee don’t get together nearly as often as they did as kids.

“When we do see each other now, the conversation usually isn’t about our sports,” Matt said. “We just catch up with each other, find out how each other’s lives are going.

“Athletics at our level are pretty intense. When our families are together, we get away from it for a little while.”

Matt Smith, 24, is a 6-3, 215-pound right-handed pitcher. He was valedictorian of his graduating class at Seneca Valley, set records for strikeouts, games started and innings pitched at Georgetown University and earned academic honors there.

A 34th-round draft choice of the Brewers in 2016, Smith was promoted twice in the Brewers’ farm system that season, ending his campaign with the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

He spent the 2017 off-season on Matt Clement’s basketball coaching staff at Butler, as Smith was a solid basketball player himself at Seneca Valley.

He underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after spring training last year.

“Soreness in my elbow wasn’t going away,” he recalled. “They did some tests and I needed the surgery. I couldn’t come back to coach at Butler this year because of the rehab.”

Smith has been back throwing and will begin pitching live in May. He’’s hopeful of returning to the mound for games in June.

In the meantime, his cousin is hopeful of a long run with Belmont in the upcoming NCAA Women’s Tournament.

Afted a standout high school basketball career at Alpharetta (Ga.), Kylee Smith opted for Vanderbilt. She saw action in all 31 games her freshman year, averaging 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds, but decided to transfer to Belmont.

Majoring in business marketing, Kylee served an internship with the NHL’s Nashville Predators last year. She will spend three months working with the Pittsburgh Steelers this summer.

And she’s still pretty good in basketball.

Smith leads Belmont in scoring at 18.6 points per game. She’s averaging seven rebounds and four assists per contest and has drained more than 60 treys.

She is one of three teammates with more than 1,400 career points. The Bruins are champions of the Ohio Valley Conference and will carry a 22-game winning streak into the NCAA tourney.