INDIANAPOLIS — Craig Smith isn’t one to overlook the significance of a basketball moment, one such as his Utah team playing Indiana State in the NIT semifinals at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

The day before the game, though, he had the chance to bask in another significant moment when his son, Carson Smith, announced his commitment to North Dakota State.

“You know, as the father of four, really proud of all of our kids and who they are and what they stand for and I’m not the son of a coach, so I don’t know what they go through with everything. Only they know that,” Craig Smith said during an NIT press conference Monday.

The younger Smith recently completed his final basketball season at Bountiful High, where he averaged 18.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Carson Smith, a 6-foot-7 forward, was named to the Deseret News 5A All-State first team.

Another special moment came with Monday’s commitment — meeting former college basketball coach turned ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla.

“Fran Fraschilla was out there, and just talking — I had never met Fran before and his sons are in coaching,” Craig Smith said. “We just had some dialogue out there about, you know, they just tend to gravitate together.”

Craig Smith has another son, Brady, who’s been on the Salt Lake Community College basketball roster the past two seasons.

Now, the younger brother will join the college ranks.

“Carson, he’s a junkie. He loves it. He competes at it. He gets in the weight room. He’s super dedicated with the nutrition. He’s an amazing cook. He gets up every morning, makes six eggs — yeah, six. Gets into the weight room. Does his nutrition piece. Really stretches all the time and gets in the gym,” Craig Smith said.

“It’s fun to see when people work at it, whether it’s my son or whomever else, when you dedicate to your craft, I don’t care what it is, reporter or writer or teacher or whatever, like it’s just fun to see. It’s enjoyable to see and he’s going to a great place.”

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Craig Smith should know — the Minnesota native was an assistant coach at North Dakota State in the early 2000s.

“There’s a familiarity. He loves the cold and it gets really, really cold there. When he decided to commit, he goes, ‘Dad, now all I need is a snowmobile.’ You might not know what a snowmobile is, or snow cat as I grew up with it. It’s rewarding,” Craig Smith joked.

“It’s fun to see when people work at it, whether it’s my son or whomever else, when you dedicate to your craft, I don’t care what it is, reporter or writer or teacher or whatever, like it’s just fun to see. It’s enjoyable to see and he’s going to a great place.”

—  Utah coach Craig Smith, on his son Carson Smith

The dad said his son will get on campus in June and praised NDSU coach David Richman, who has been the Bisons’ coach since the 2014-15 season.

“Coach Richman is a great man and a very, very good coach,” Craig Smith said.

He also thanked his wife, Darcy, for the work she’s put in behind the scenes.

“(Carson) can really thank his mom because as much as I’m gone and busy with things, mom, when he’s a little tyke, running him all over the place to get to this gym and this practice and to get to this place. It’s been a really enjoyable day to say the least. Very proud,” Craig Smith said.

Utah Utes head coach Craig Smith during the game between the Utah Utes and the Colorado Buffaloes in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 14, 2024. The Colorado Buffaloes won the game 72-58. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News