September 19, 2021

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JR Smith: Two-time NBA champion heads to college with eyes focused on playing golf

JR Smith: Two-time NBA champion heads to college with eyes focused on playing golf

JR Smith may be 35 years old, but that doesn’t mean his sporting dreams have faded.

Smith, 16 years old NBA Veteran, enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University with the intention of joining the university golf Team.
He is primarily pursuing a degree in liberal studies — his classes begin August 18 — but is waiting for the NCAA to determine his eligibility before applying for the Team One of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

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.

“Golf is one of those games that really gets you high and can get you on your knees and humbles you,” Smith – two-time NBA champion – Tell WFMY News 2 Sports on Wednesday before the start of the Wyndham Championship.

“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.

according to According to NCAA rules: “An individual will not qualify for intercollegiate athletics in a sport if the individual has competed on a professional team in that sport.”

It does not prevent a former professional athlete from competing in a different sport.

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Richard Watkins, who coaches the men’s and women’s teams at the university, said Smith’s arrival is a “big deal.”

“It’s a big deal for A&T. It’s a big deal for him,” Watkins, who was at the Smith Show on Wednesday, She said. “It’s not often that someone in their position has a real opportunity to have an idea, a dream, an idea, and the ability to move forward and move in that direction.

“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.