JR Smith may be 35 years old, but that doesn’t mean his sporting dreams have faded.
Smith skipped college and went straight from high school to the NBA in 2004 but said he started considering going to college during a trip to the Dominican Republic with Hall of Famer Ray Allen.
“And to have that feeling and knowing that pretty much all the game is on my hands, and not have to worry about my teammates passing the ball and receiving passes and playing defense, so I can play my game and have fun.”
Smith can often be seen in between the show at PGA Tour events — and he says he plays with a five handicap.
He has petitioned the NCAA to be eligible to play but it is not clear how long this process will take.
It does not prevent a former professional athlete from competing in a different sport.
Richard Watkins, who coaches the men’s and women’s teams at the university, said Smith’s arrival is a “big deal.”
“He’s a former professional athlete, but (it’s) a unique set of circumstances. He never went to college, he never scored, and the clock never started.”
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard has played professionally for a host of NBA teams, winning the NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.
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