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Malcolm Smith has a loaded schedule, which is why he wakes up at 4 a.m. to get his day started.

With dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, he hits the weight room first thing in the morning. Afterward, he studies some before he heads out to school at Dorsey, where he serves as the student body vice president.

In the fall semester, he includes cross country practice during his daily work out, and after that, he helps coach the school’s autistic soccer team. Smith does all of this while he prepares himself for college, with Southern University, Grambling State University, Lincoln University, and Bethune-Cookman University at the top of his list of prospective schools.

Smith started playing baseball as a child in the Tee-Ball division of the Baldwin Hills Little League. He quickly found out that if he was going to be good, he would have to work for it.

“I wasn’t the superstar kid, so I always had to work for mine,” he said. “It was a struggle at first. But I have a hard work ethic. I wasn’t born with it, but I was always trying to get better.”

As a senior, Smith believes that he has finally arrived.

“At this moment right now, I think I’ve found it,” he said. “I guess it came to me late.”

Smith is a power and line-drive hitter, and out in the field he plays center, where he excels at tracking the ball with his quickness. He has lofty goals, but at the same time he is not a flashy player.

“I would like to be like Mike Trout, but right now, I’d say that I’m an athletic Evan Gattis,” he said. “I like that guy, because he’s raw. He’s a big dude, and I want to get big like that. He’s a power hitter. And I like the no batting gloves. A lot of guys wear them for style. I don’t have too much style. I’d say that I play the game simple.”

Smith stands at six-feet tall, and he is a pretty thick kid. As a power hitter, putting on muscle is important, which is why he hits the weight room for 90-minute workouts four times a week, which he splits between upper body, lower body and core. His father, who was a successful high school wrestler in Chicago, gives him a lot of tips.

Academically, Smith’s favorite subject is English, since he likes writing and reads a lot of non-fiction. He also likes to read financial literacy books, and he is currently reading “The New Jim Crow.”

He wants to major in business administration, with a concentration in real estate.

“When I get older, I want to be financially free,” Smith said.

While at school, Smith keeps good company, since one of his baseball teammates is president of the student body, and another is the treasurer. He jokingly admits that the baseball team is running the student body to some degree.

The three baseball players ran for student government together, with the help of the players they coach on the soccer team. Smith is a very humble young man, who enjoys his interaction with the students who are affected by autism.

“It’s just a disability,” he said. “They didn’t choose it. They were born with it. They are people just like you and me.”

Smith is teaching them how to play soccer, and his social interaction with the players is of great importance, said coaches connected with the team.

Like any successful student-athlete, time management is the key, said Smith who concedes he has a lot to balance. But the college-bound senior has a simple way of getting everything done.

“I minimize my distractions. If it doesn’t pertain to baseball or school, I usually don’t do it. I don’t get out that much. While other people party, I’m working out or studying.”

Smith has a work ethic that is typically seen in most successful people, and said he developed that at home.

“I think it comes from my mom,” he said. “I’d say my dad too, but my mom works really hard. She works long hours. I have a brother and sister in college, so she has to help them out too. After work, she’ll still be tired, but she’ll still go to the gym to stay healthy. I really admire that.”

Smith also makes it a priority to attend church, and worships at the Catholic Chapel of St. Vibiana.

“Sometimes I’m struggling with sports or school, and I ask for guidance,” which he said “. . . clears my mind. It helps me make the right decisions. I don’t do any crazy stuff. I believe in God, so I don’t want to get in trouble.”

Smith has a lot on his plate, but with his work ethic and drive to succeed, he is confident he will be able to achieve his goals.