Shaka Smart discusses upcoming season at Student Government meeting

Akshay Mirchandani

Head coach Shaka Smart stressed establishing a relationship with the student body when he spoke at the UT Student Government meeting Tuesday night.

Smart asked whether there is anything he can do as the head basketball coach to support Student Government or the student body.

“I really think it’s all about a relationship or anything that we can be doing in the athletic department,” Smart said.

Senior Tanner Long, SG speaker of the assembly, said he reached out to Smart a few months ago to speak at a meeting to help establish a relationship with the first-year coach.

“I know its useful for them to try and get connected to the student body and then also find out how we can help him in his new role,” Long said.

Long said members of the Student Government are working on initiatives to promote UT athletics, adding that Smart said he is open to help.

“If there’s things that I can do, or if there’s things once in a while that I can have our team do, that can connect us more with the students here at the University of Texas, then it’s definitely something I want to think about doing,” Smart said.

Sophomore business representative Ben Norton said he was surprised with how willing Smart is to connect with students.

“I thought that was really cool that he’s very open to helping us with that and connecting with the students more than just his players,” Norton said.

Additionally, Smart described what fans can expect when the season tips off in two weeks. He said one his goals is to make Texas one of the toughest home court advantages in the Big 12.

“I can promise you’re going to have fun,” Smart said. “I can promise you it’s going to be an exciting atmosphere, and I’m just looking forward to getting to know the entire student
body here.”