Tyler Smith, who played on Penn State's 2001 men's basketball team that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round in the NCAA tournament, will speak about mental fitness for entrepreneurs as the keynote speaker for Ag Springboard. The "final four" Ag Springboard teams pitch live before judges in the finalist round Wednesday, followed by an evening awards banquet.

Tyler Smith, this year's Ag Springboard keynote speaker, played pro basketball around the world for 11 years after playing for an historic Penn State men's basketball team in 2001.

Tyler Smith, this year's Ag Springboard keynote speaker, played pro basketball around the world for 11 years after playing for an historic Penn State men's basketball team in 2001.

As an entrepreneur, author and former pro athlete, Tyler Smith has trained key facets of his mental game so that he is optimistic, resilient, courageous, and determined.

Smith will speak about how entrepreneurs can train and develop their mental fitness as the keynote speaker during the Ag Springboard Awards Banquet Weds., April 3, at the Atherton Hotel.

Ag Springboard, a student business pitch contest in the agricultural sciences, awards $7,500 to the team with the best pitch to help launch its venture.

Smith plans to tell the audience of student entrepreneurs among the four finalist teams, entrepreneurs, sponsors, judges and college officials how he works to overcome fear and focus on effort and attitude, two things he can control.

Historic March Madness run

As a player on Penn State's 2001 men's basketball team, Smith No. 35 made a key shot with 90 seconds left in the game to give the Nittany Lions a bit of breathing room -- a three-point instead of one-point advantage -- on their way to upsetting No. 2 North Carolina on March 18 to advance to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men's Division 1 Basketball Tournament.

Smith went on to play pro basketball all over the world for the next 11 years, then write a book about his adventures.

CryoZone, Smith's third entrepreneurial venture

Smith owns CryoZone, a State College company that was one of the first to offer whole body cryotherapy treatments. Cryotherapy uses sub-zero temperatures to help reduce pain and inflammation. Athletes often use it for muscle recovery after workouts or pain relief following an injury. CryoZone also offers Cryoskin treatments to slim and tone the body.

Smith's basketball career includes playing pro basketball all over the world for 11 years. Smith, a 2002 telecommunications major, was a three-year starter for Penn State, and Academic All-American. He grew up in Lake Bluff, Ill., playing youth sports.

He turned the stories of his adventures playing basketball for 12 teams in seven countries and over four continents into his book, Called for Traveling: My Nomadic Life Playing Basketball Around the World, published by Skyhorse Publishing and available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Smith works for a medical device company, Zimmer Biomet, and lives in State College with his wife, Cara, and three daughters Hannah, Lexi and Tori.

The annual Ag Springboard Competition helps students learn to pitch their ideas and has helped student entrepreneurs launch successful businesses.

It is a signature event of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.