In an announcement that very few saw coming, J.R Smith has made public that he has decided to take his talents….back to college.
According to multiple reports, the 16-year NBA veteran has enrolled at North Carolina A&T, a historically Black university (HBCU) and intends to join the University’s golf program if his petition to play is cleared by the NCAA.
Unlike most NBA players, Smith is eligible to play to enroll and join a collegiate team after his basketball career because he decided to forego college and enter the 2004 NBA Draft straight out of high school.
Smith revealed his rationale for the decision at the pro-am at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, NC. He told reporters at the event that he was inspired by a conversation he had with Hall of Fame guard Ray Allen.
“Ray Allen kind of convinced me,” he said. “We had a little golf trip in [the Dominican Republic] and he was talking about some of the things he was doing, about going back to school and challenging yourself for us athletes. I really took heed to it and decided to go back — and one of the best liberal studies programs is at A&T.”
Smith, an experienced golfer — according to PGATour.com, the former NBA champion and sixth man of the year plays with a 5 handicap.
If all goes well, Smith will sacrifice four-point plays on the hardwood for yelling “Fore!’’ on the pitch.