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J.R. Smith may soon be a collegiate golfer.
The 35-year-old is enrolling at North Carolina A&T University to pursue a degree in liberal studies and spot on the golf team.
Smith, who spent four of his 16 NBA seasons with the Knicks, is awaiting a decision by the NCAA regarding his eligibility in hopes that he will join the Aggies’ golf team.
Smith entered the 2004 NBA Draft directly out of high school, with the New Orleans Hornets selecting him with the No. 18 pick. He had originally committed to play college basketball for North Carolina.
Speaking to reporters at the Wyndham Championship Pro-Am on Wednesday, Smith said he began golfing 12 years ago thanks to advice from Basketball Hall of Famer Moses Malone. Smith currently has a 5 handicap.
“Knowing that all of the game is pretty much in my own hands, I don’t have to worry about teammates to pass the ball to or receiving passes and playing defense,” said Smith, who last played in the NBA in 2020. “I can just play my game. Just have fun.”
Smith — a two-time NBA champion who made $90 million — said that conversations with Ray Allen and Chris Paul helped him decide to go to college. He will begin taking classes on Aug. 18.
“It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been in school,” Smith said. “I’m excited about these new challenges and I’ll have to really buckle down. … I can’t wait to be a part of the HBCU family and to really be embraced by everybody on campus already has been great.”
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