Former NBA player JR Smith trades a basketball for a bag of golf clubs.
Smith, a 16-year-old NBA veteran who won two championships in his playing days, will enter freshman and play for the North Carolina A&T Men’s Golf Team.
Smith, 36, attended an online press conference on Monday and spoke about his future at school.
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“It’s gonna be fun,” Smith said via ESPN. “Obviously different environments from playing in front of 20,000 people to playing in a college golf gallery… But it’s still as scary as taking a free kick in front of 5,000 instead of putting a 5 foot in front of three. everything is correlated for me. “
Smith decided to enroll at North Carolina A&T because he wanted to attend an HBCU (Historically Black College or University). Smith, the 18th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, played high school basketball at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, New Jersey. At that time, he was expected to play college hoops for the North Carolina Tar Heels, but instead decided to go pro.
Smith, two-time NBA champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and Los Angeles Lakers in 2020, was honored as the league’s sixth man of the year. While playing for five teams, Smith scored over 12,000 points during his career.
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Smith will now take on a new challenge. The former keeper said he has been playing golf for about 12 years but has taken the game more seriously lately. Smith, who has never hired a swing coach, said he often goes to the driving range and tips while watching Golf Channel.
“I just know how to compete with myself,” Smith said. “As a shooter and with golf, it correlates with trying to hit different shots and your creativity, and that swing and trying to have that flow and that tempo.”