According to The Undefeated, former NBA Champion JR Smith has been cleared by the NCAA to play golf for North Carolina A&T University, an HCBU.
"It was probably one of the most exciting feelings I've had in a while," J.R. Smith said in an exclusive interview to The Undefeated.
"I really didn't know how it was gonna go. I hear so much about the NCAA all the time how they're doing this, and they don't know what they want to do with that, but to be able to actually call myself a student-athlete is a great feeling."
Having already enrolled into the University for a bachelor's degree in liberal studies, and reportedly begun classes on Aug. 18, the approval from the NCAA comes around a couple of weeks after the reports were out of Smith heading back to college.
The announcement of the NCAA's approval led to reactions from some of the NBA's top current stars including Smith's former teammate in LeBron James.
So happy and proud of you my brother @TheRealJRSmith!!!! Love you kid! Best of luck you student/athlete 🙏🏾💪🏾✊🏾👑🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 GO AGGIES ⛳️ TEAM https://t.co/3OJr6nnzGo- LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2021
Now on the tee…..that's big time @TheRealJRSmith 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 https://t.co/kzDhJgBPCb- Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) August 25, 2021
The NCAA's approval comes since Smith never competed professionally in golf. In fact, the 6-foot-6 guard never went to college as he went straight from high school to the NBA in 2004, a year prior to the league's 'one-and-done' rule.
The 16-year NBA veteran was previously on an NBA roster in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers. Over the course of his time in the league, Smith has been on two NBA championship teams in 2016 and 2020 while also being named the Sixth Man of the Year in 2013.
The Lakers were one of five teams he represented in 977 career regular-season games, during which he averaged 12.4 points while shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc. In the playoffs, his 294 3-pointers in 140 games rank 9th all-time.
Having already begun classes, the 35-year-old, a couple of days earlier, was live-tweeting his English assignments.
Man sitting in bed doing a power point for my English class just thought I'd take a break and see what talk up to.- JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) August 22, 2021
My first deadline is at midnight pic.twitter.com/Za7n4XDQ1j- JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) August 23, 2021
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