J.R. Smith returning to college, could play Golf
The last time we saw JR Smith was during a competitive environment with the l. a. Lakers, who won the NBA title in 2019-20. After time, we glance at it during a competitive environment; however, the links could also be out.
The two-time NBA champion is returning to high school and enrolling in North Carolina A&T to pursue a degree in liberal studies, consistent with the PGA Tour. And at 35, he hopes to clear the NGAA – which is seemingly trying to resolve his qualifications – to seek out an area on the Aegis golf team. Can Smith played the North Carolina Tar Heels as a star high school basketball prospect but traveled straight to the NBA.
‘I’m trying to seek out if I still have the qualifications,’ Smith told reporters Wednesday at the Windham Prom. ‘More importantly, I’m trying to teach myself and do something after basketball. They always told me I could return whenever i used to be out of highschool .’
"Very special. I can't wait to be part of an HBCU Family." great to talk with @TheRealJRSmith here at @WyndhamChamp Pro-Am. Smith is enrolling at @ncatsuaggies (went to NBA straight from HS) and hopes to get NCAA Clearance to play on the @NCATAGGIES Golf Team. @WFMY #wfmysports pic.twitter.com/GzWuiVb95Q
— Brian Hall (@bhallwfmy) August 11, 2021
It remains to be seen whether the NCAA will clear Smith of playing college golf. That he has never played competitively at the school level can help. It’ll be an unprecedented breakthrough, seeing a former NBA sharpshooter throw darts on the course. But under the NIL, his 16-year career within the NBA might not be as much of a hurdle because it would earlier this year.
In other sports, players –especially Florida State Heisman Trophy–winning quarterback Chris Weinke – have played professionally, returning to school to play a particular sport. Weinke spent six years within the Toronto Blue Jays minors system before moving to Tallahassee and led the FSU to the 1999 National Championship at gridiron.
Richard Watkins, A&T’s men’s and women’s golf coach, said: I used to be watching Smith on the Wyndham program in the week. ‘He’s a former professional player, but (it’s) a singular set of circumstances. He didn’t attend college, never matriculated, the clock never started.’
Watkins is perhaps selfishly hoping that Smith is often cleared. Having an enormous name like Smith can help with visibility and recognition, but he also has five disabilities.