FARMVILLE, VA – Former women’s basketball star from Longwood Akila Smith has signed her first professional contract in Portugal with Clube Desportivo Escola Francisco Franco (CDEFF).
The great Lancer is set to play as a small forward for a CDEFF side that competes in the first division in Portugal and won 10-13 a season ago.
Smith wrote her name in the Longwood record books while she was in Farmville, and she served as a Swiss Army knife. She has racked up the most triple-doubles in the program’s history and holds a variety of records. She is the program’s single-game, single-season, and career block leader, as well as the all-time career field goal percentage leader.
In addition, she became the first player in program history to be named Big South Player of the Year, and she was also twice Big South Defensive Player of the Year. In both her junior and senior seasons, she finished in the top five nationally in blocks and blocks per game. She was a two-time All-Big South First Team selection, and she was VaSID Player of the Year as a senior and Defensive Player of the Year as a junior.
Her success on the court helped pave the way for a dramatic turnaround for the Longwood women’s basketball program. The Lancers finished progressively higher in the standings in each of their four seasons, culminating in a share of the Big South regular-season title and Big South championship last spring.
Smith was also instrumental in helping Longwood win her first NCAA Division I tournament game as she posted a career-high 32 points and added 13 rebounds. She had more than 20 double-doubles in her Lancer career.
With CDEFF, she joins another Lancer great in Dayna Rouse. Rouse, who joined CDEFF in 2021 after starting her professional career at Herner TC in Germany, averaged almost 20 points per game last season.