Cole Smith, the Vikings’ leading scorer this season, was among 21 players named to the 2017 boys Academic All-State team.

Of the hundreds of boys who play basketball for an Iowa high school this year, only 21 of them have earned recognition from the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association as being among the top in academics. Vinton-Shellsburg senior Cole Smith is among them.

The Association received more than 170 nominations from Iowa coaches; the 21 players chosen have an average ACT composite score of 29.6 and an average GPA of 3.98.

They also excel on the court, and have an average of 15.7 points per game. Nine of the 21, including Smith, are ranked either first or second among their classmates in GPA.

VS head coach Joe Johnson nominated Smith for this honor.

“This group represents the best in Iowa and may well be the best group we have ever honored,” wrote IBCA Executive Secretary Don Logan in his letter to Smith and the other honorees.

Smith, the son of Andy and Christine Smith of Vinton, led the Vikings in scoring this season, with 425 points and a 19.3 point per game average. He also led the team in steals and was among team leaders in assists and rebounds.

The All-State Academic Team members will receive recognition March 10, at halftime of the Class 2A State Championship game, in Des Moines. Benton Community player Tyler Eggert is also among the nominees.