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

JR Smith could also be 35 years outdated, however that does not imply his athletic desires are extinguished.

Smith, a 16-year NBA veteran, has enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University with the intention of becoming a member of the college’s golf staff.
He is primarily pursuing a level in liberal research — his lessons begin on August 18 — however he’s ready for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to work out his eligibility earlier than he applies for the team of one of many nation’s prime traditionally Black faculties and universities (HBCUs).

Smith skipped going to college and went straight from highschool to the NBA in 2004 however mentioned he started fascinated with going to college throughout a visit to the Dominican Republic with Hall of Famer Ray Allen.

“Golf is a kind of video games that has you feeling actually excessive and or can convey you down to your knees and humble you,” Smith — who’s a two-time NBA champion — told WFMY News 2 Sports on Wednesday forward of the pro-am on the Wyndham Championship.
Smith hits his tee shot at the 10th hole prior to The Northern Trust at Ridgewood Country Club on August 22, 2018.

“And to have that feeling and realizing that the entire sport’s just about on my very own palms, and I haven’t got to fear about teammates to go the ball and receiving passes and playing protection, so I can play my sport and simply have enjoyable.”

Smith can usually be seen among the many gallery at PGA Tour occasions — and he says he performs to a 5 handicap.

He has petitioned the NCAA to be eligible to play however it’s not clear on how lengthy that course of will take.

According to NCAA guidelines: “An particular person shall not be eligible for intercollegiate athletics in a sport if the person ever competed on an expert staff in that sport.”

It doesn’t ban a former skilled athlete from competing in a special sport.

Richard Watkins, who coaches each the boys’s and girls’s groups on the college, mentioned Smith’s arrival is a “large deal.”

“It’s an enormous deal for A&T. It’s an enormous deal for him,” Watkins, who was in Smith’s gallery on Wednesday, said. “It’s not fairly often that any individual in his place actually has a possibility to have a thought, a dream, an thought, and to have the ability to go forward and transfer in that path.

“He’s a former skilled athlete, however (it is) a novel set of circumstances. He did not go to college, by no means matriculated, the clock by no means began.”

The 6-foot-6 capturing guard performed professionally for a number of NBA groups, profitable NBA titles with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.

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