JR Smith is a two-time NBA champion and a former sixth man of the year who made millions of dollars in his 16 seasons.
When he retired in 2020 after his second win with the Los Angeles Lakers, he could have done almost anything. Smith had enjoyed a long career in basketball, had a serious love of golf, and was probably a means of traveling the world with that passion.
Instead, a 36-year-old student who went straight to the NBA from New York’s famous St. Benedict Prep entered college.
And not just any college, the largest HBCU in the country: North Carolina A&T.
Not only that, he also joined the Gies Guys golf team.
Best of all, he’s basically live-tweeting his experiences.
Smith doesn’t have to do this, not the tweeting part. Of course there were news headlines that a former NBA player had decided to enroll in college and was approved to become a student-player at the age of 3, perhaps with some journalists attending the first A&T tournament in Georgia on September 24-25. Check out one of the club’s best sets on the college circuit, the unconventional freshman.
But it’s admirable to take us on a trip and open yourself up. Of course Smith has been mocked by some, but unfortunately he is part of Twitter.
There are some funny moments, such as Smith saying he’s being served North Carolina fast-food chicken staple bojangles when another student mourns that Chick-Phil-A is opening late on campus, or making a support video for a student running for campus government, but Starting college as an adult and seeing everything through the eyes of the elderly and more is a window.
Smith also gives a glimpse of how big people in the American school system have neglected to teach the true history of this country, because when Smith mentioned that when maps used in many schools and globes show North America the same size as Africa, Africa is actually bigger, or when Christopher Columbus He “found” when America had already found him.
Beyond all this, Smith is inspiring many. Actress Holly Robinson Pete tweeted that Smith’s post was “seriously encouraging” her to pursue a serious degree, and another follower said that if he returned to complete his degree, Smith’s experience would be the reason. Should be done! “, Smith replied.” The younger generation has a lot to learn from them “).
After a few stumbling blocks in the first week before coming to campus from Los Angeles (“I have to learn to do better when taking notes,” he lamented. “For some reason I have a hard time figuring out what’s important. I mean I think it’s all important.”
Scottsdale, AZ – January 29: JR Smith laughs at the 16th Tea Box before the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 29, 2020 in Scottsdale, Riz Rizona. (Photo by Ben Jared / Get PGA Tour by Getty Images)
JR Smith laughs at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, riz Rizona. (Photo by Ben Jared / PGA Tour by Getty Images)
In recent days he has reported that all 75 questions on two African American history quizzes are accurate and he wants to be on the Chancellor’s list, whose A&T is 3.75 GPA or better for the semester.
He has also come up with the idea of going beyond getting a bachelor.
“Dr. Earl Joseph Smith III, he has a dope ring! Wants to travel a long way but not impossible. One day at a time!” He tweeted earlier this month.
With the first tournament of the six-man golf team coming up, Smith has also started training, which is another thing to keep a balance in his academic schedule.
If you are wondering how it is possible for a former professional player to play in the NCAA team, then the rules of the organization say that as long as it is not a game you make money playing then you can be in the team as a professional player. In other words, Smith wanted to stay on the golf team and since he wasn’t trying to join the A&T basketball team, he’d better go.
As a guest on the first episode of the “All the Smoke” podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson in 2019, Smith said it was the late Moshe Malone who first asked him to take over the golf club. Smith was just blabbering on like he did in a charity tournament, but Malone asked him to catch a club, and he did so because Smith’s rule was to never disrespect the Hall of Fame.
“Hit the ball 300 yards down the fairway,” Smith said. But later that day, seeing the crowd this time, he tried again and couldn’t hit the ball.
He was overwhelmed and bought his first club.
He is now 5 disabled and has played in some of the best courses in the United States. While some lamented that Smith took a potential roster spot from a young golfer, in an interview with The Underfitted last month, Aggies coach Richard Watkins insisted he had gotten a spot.
Smith is paying his own way to go to school, so no one misses a scholarship, and Smith just asked for a chance to try.
“Extremely high level competition is a privilege. If you don’t earn it, you don’t get it. And that’s in an 18-year-old case, or a 35-year-old case. If you do not earn it, it is not given to you. And from a coaching standpoint, Jay and I have already discussed that, ”Watkins said. “There are only two ways to improve the team. Either the players they have have to improve, or the coach has to go out and get better players. So, he is not given a place because he is JR Smith. ”
Whether he gets a doctorate or not, Smith still has noble goals: he wants to be All-American by his senior year and help recruit more students to North Carolina A&T.
It includes a school that focuses on STEM but also golf and wants to introduce more children to the sport.
All of this is preceded by an invitation to next week’s Black College Golf Coach Association and next month’s debut as a college player at GHOE, or Greatest Homecoming on Earth, A&T’s signature campus event.
If the last month is any indication, Smith will post us on all of them.