Earl Joseph “J.R. Smith”, A Former 2X NBA champION, NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2013) CBA scoring champion (2012) CBA All-Star (2012) Second-team Parade All-American (2004) AND McDonald’s All-American Game Co-MVP (2004), joins golf team at North Carolina A&T, J.R. Smith in virtual classes as NCAA clears him to play on N.C. A&T golf team

Earl Joseph “J.R. Smith”, A Former 2X NBA champION, NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2013) CBA scoring champion (2012) CBA All-Star (2012) Second-team Parade All-American (2004) AND McDonald’s All-American Game Co-MVP (2004), joins golf team at North Carolina A&T, J.R. Smith in virtual classes as NCAA clears him to play on N.C. A&T golf team

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J.R. Smith is heading to college for the first time, and the former NBA champion will get to call himself a student-athlete.The NCAA ruled Smith eligible to compete for the golf team at North Carolina A&T. There had been questions about whether the NCAA would allow him to play given its amateurism rules, but because Smith hasn’t gone pro in golf, he was ruled eligible to play.Now, Smith, 35, is just excited to begin life as a student-athlete.“It was probably one of the most exciting feelings I’ve had in a while. I really didn’t know how it was going to go,” Smith said of his eligibility. “But to be able to actually call myself a student-athlete is a great feeling.”Smith has been an avid golfer since 2009. He fell in love with the game while playing in Moses Malone’s charity classic and has honed his skills over the years. He now shoots to a reported 5-handicap.North Carolina A&T’s coach, Richard Watkins, believes Smith will provide a boost to their team.“The performance of my golf team just got a helping hand because the young man in question is definitely a good player,” Watkins said of Smith, per ESPN.Smith knows he can help, and he’s looking forward to returning to a pressure-packed, competitive environment.“It’s going to be fun,” Smith said in a Monday news conference. “Obviously different environments from playing in front of 20,000 people to playing in a college golf gallery.“But it’s still as nerve-racking as shooting a free throw in front of 5,000 instead of making a 5-foot putt in front of three. So it all correlates the same for me.”Smith averaged 12.4 points per game on 37.3 percent 3-point shooting during his 17-season career. He also won two NBA championships, one with the Cavaliers and one with the Lakers during the 2019-20 season.Now, he’ll look to add some golf hardware to his trophy case.

J.R. Smith finally played Pine Valley—and then bought the entire pro shop

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We’ve long known—and appreciated—J.R. Smith’s love of obsession with golf, but the NBA star showed even more enthusiasm for the game than usual on Wednesday. Smith crossed playing Pine Valley, ranked No. 1 on Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Courses list, off his bucket list. And then he bought bucket hats and just about everything else imaginable from the club’s pro shop.
Check out Smith’s Instagram of the occasion, which shows the Cavaliers (for now) swingman purchased a lifetime’s worth of merchandise featuring the course’s famous logo (second photo):
And in case it’s not loading properly, here’s the incredible spread again:
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Good lord. Seriously, that might be a game check’s worth of gear.
From his instagram story, it appears Smith played with his brother as well as former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell. It’s unclear how much merch any of those guys bought. It’s also unclear if there’s anything left in the pro shop.

J.R. Smith ready to hit links, classroom with North Carolina A&T Aggies

J.R. Smith is finally getting the college-athlete experience he missed out on nearly two decades ago.

The 16-year NBA veteran who skipped college basketball, won two championships and made millions is now a freshman walk-on for the North Carolina A&T men’s golf team. Now, instead of first-class cross-country travel for nightly games against the world’s best basketball players, Smith — who turns 36 next month — is focused on completing class assignments and working on his golf game.

“It’s going to be fun,” Smith said Monday in an online news conference. “Obviously different environments from playing in front of 20,000 people to playing in a college golf gallery.

“But it’s still as nerve-wracking as shooting a free throw in front of 5,000 instead of making a 5-foot putt in front of three. So it all correlates the same for me.”

Smith said he was drawn to the Greensboro, North Carolina, school because of his interest in attending a Historically Black College or University, which follows a push by the NBA and its players to support HBCU traditions and culture in this year’s All-Star Game in Atlanta.

Smith is returning to the state where he was originally slated to play college basketball. The 6-foot-6 guard was set to join tradition-rich North Carolina under Roy Williams in 2004 but instead jumped straight to the NBA and was a first-round draft pick.

He scored more than 12,000 regular-season points while playing for five NBA teams. That included joining LeBron James in winning titles with Cleveland in 2016 and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Florida pandemic bubble in 2020 — and celebrating each in memorable shirtless fashion.

That was then. This is now.

Over the past two days, Smith has been tweeting about an impending assignment deadline: his first PowerPoint presentation for an English class about where he saw himself in the next five to 10 years.

“For me, because I have a wild imagination, it’s going to be very interesting,” Smith said. “I don’t know if the professor is prepared for that, and I’m obviously not the average freshman. So I don’t know how I’m going to do.”

As for his golf game, Smith said he’s been playing for about 12 years. As he took the game more seriously, he frequented driving ranges and worked to improve his swing on his own, never hiring a coach while picking up occasional tips from watching Golf Channel.

“I just know how to compete with myself,” Smith said. “As being a shooter and with golf, it correlates to trying to hit different shots and your creativity, and that swing and try to have that flow and tempo.”

That self-taught style was enough to impress PGA pro Dustin Johnson, who said in 2016: “He can play.”

Aggies coach Richard Watkins agrees with Johnson.

“The performance of my golf team just got a helping hand because the young man in question is definitely a good player,” Watkins said of Smith.

The Aggies’ first golf match comes Sept. 24-25 at the Black College Golf Coaches Association Invitational in Newnan, Georgia.

Until then, Smith will be busy juggling schoolwork — most of his courses are online currently — and working on his golf game.

Smith said that’s exactly what he wants from his delayed college experience.

“It’s not even a week yet, but as I get into it, I keep getting eager to learn more and join study groups and try to understand and try to really embrace the lifestyle,” Smith said.

J. R. Smith

J. R. Smith
J.R. Smith (40627108671) (cropped).jpg
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Smith with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018
North Carolina A&T Aggies
League NCAA
Personal information
Born September 9, 1985 (age 35)
Freehold Borough, New Jersey
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school
College North Carolina A&T (2021–present)
NBA draft 2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18th overall
Selected by the New Orleans Hornets
Playing career 2004–2020
Career history
20042006 New Orleans Hornets[a]
20062011 Denver Nuggets
2011–2012 Zhejiang Golden Bulls
20122015 New York Knicks
20152019 Cleveland Cavaliers
2020 Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Stats 
Edit this at Wikidata
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at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

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Earl Joseph “J. R.” Smith III (born September 9, 1985) is an American former professional basketball player and collegiate golfer for North Carolina A&T. He played high school basketball at New Jersey basketball powerhouse Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark. He entered the NBA out of high school after being selected in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft with the 18th overall pick by the New Orleans Hornets. He has also played for the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, as well as for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association. Smith has won two NBA Championships, with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.

MYBOYSAY GOLF SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS CONGRATULATES MR. J.R. SMITH, AS HE ENTERS UNIVERSITY LIFE AT,

North Carolina A&T

AND ALSO, IS SELECTED TO THEIR GOLF TEAM.

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