Former NBA Star J.R. Smith Enrolls At North Carolina A&T, Takes Up College Golf

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John Rigolizzo Contributor
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Former NBA Star J.R. Smith announced Monday that he has joined the men’s golf team at North Carolina A&T University.

Smith, a 16-year NBA veteran and two-time NBA champion, announced his enrollment at the Historically Black University at an online news conference Monday. Smith was recruited to play basketball at the University of North Carolina, but he skipped college and declared for the 2004 NBA draft instead. He joined the Golf Team as a walk-on.


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“It’s going to be fun,” said Smith of the transition. “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 said he has been playing golf for 12 years, and is completely self-taught. He practiced his swing at driving ranges and got tips by watching the Golf Channel.
Aggies Head Coach Richard Watkins has already taken notice. “The performance of my golf team just got a helping hand because the young man in question is definitely a good player,” Watkins said.

Smith will play in North Carolina A&T’s first golf match at the Black College Golf Coaches Association Invitational on Sept. 24-25 in Newnan, Georgia.

Smith is pursuing a degree in liberal studies at the University. He has been actively posting to his Twitter feed about his academics as well as his experience living and eating in North Carolina.