Braylen Smith: Striving for Success


Photo by Matthew Carroll

Junior Braylen Smith looks to pass the ball in the game against Seguin on Feb. 8. [File Photo]

Isaiah Manning, Staff Writer

After a two-hour basketball practice, junior Braylen Smith lays out a royal blue Naruto t-shirt, Forever 21 cargo pants, and a used pair of all-black Air Max 97’s on the bed of a 2020 RAM Truck. The iPhone 13 camera flashes as Smith takes pictures of the clothes he’s getting ready to sell. Despite his young age, Smith has already established himself as a multifaceted individual, with fashion being one of his many interests.

“I feel that fashion is a way I can truly express who I am,” Smith said. “Buying and reselling was a way I could make some cash of course, but also a way to introduce people into new clothing and streetwear.”

Smith’s influence in the community is more than his buying and reselling of clothes. He is active in community service and loves interacting with the animals and environment around him. This past summer, Smith used his free time to feed animals at the Reed-Stewart agricultural barn in Mansfield. His interest in nature stems from a family trip he took to New Mexico.

“[The trip to New Mexico] piqued my interest in nature and animals as a whole,” Smith said. “It allowed me to see there’s a life outside of the city and it was really relaxing and eye-opening.”

Outside of interactions with the community, Smith spends free time playing basketball with friends. He started playing basketball as a young kid and has stuck with the sport.

“I started off just trying random sports when I was little,” Smith said. “I picked up a basketball and it felt more natural compared to most sports.”

Smith’s father motivated him to start playing basketball. What ultimately kept him in the sport, and playing for legacy was motivation from his older brother who also used to play basketball here, Quentin Smith.

“When Braylen and I were growing up, we made everything a competition,” Quentin said. “We have both inspired each other with shared interests, and he’s learned how to put his own signature touch on them.”

When Braylen and I were growing up, we made everything a competition. We have both inspired each other with shared interests, and he’s learned how to put his own signature touch on them.”

— Quentin Smith


Aside from his dad and older brother, one of the most prominent role models in Braylen’s life is CashK, a popular fashion influencer and YouTuber. Although he takes inspiration from CashK, Smith feels like his style is distinct and unique.

“I pick out pieces and ideas from certain people and create it into my own style,” Braylen said. “I basically put on and wear whatever I’m feeling at the time or what I think is cool. I feel my fashion identity is more streetwear mixed with a little vintage wear.”

Alongside fashion, playing basketball, and serving the community, Braylen is also a 4.0 student. Ranking in the top 20 members of his junior class, academics are important to Smith.

“[My family] knows that academics can set us up for a fruitful future with plenty of opportunities,” Braylen said. “I feel it can be a path that can get me to college for little pay or even for free.”

Ultimately, many people helped mold Braylen into the person he is, but his internal motivation allows him to be successful in his interests in life.

“I feel that nobody can push me harder than I push myself,” Braylen said. “I try to get the best out of myself in whatever I do every day to make it the best it can be.”