JR Smith Crowned North Carolina A&T's Academic Athlete of the Year

JR Smith Crowned North Carolina A&T’s Academic Athlete of the Year

Former basketball pro JR Smith has been named North Carolina A&T’s Academic Athlete of the Year.

In only his second semester at North Carolina A&T State University, the 16-year NBA veteran joined the golf team as a walk-on. Since then, his impressive golfing strides have earned the 36-year-old the accolade. He is also sporting a 4.0 GPA as he pursues his degree in liberal studies.

Smith has been slowly making his name known in the golfing world. Last week, he landed an ambassador partnership with Lululemon, the first male golfer to ink a deal with the apparel company. Foreseeing that his career on the golf course would be lucrative, Smith signed with Excel Sports Management for NIL (name, image, and likeness) representation in January. His agent Lance Young shared at the time that there was growing interest from brands as he entered into his new sports career. 

After news circulated of his latest honor, Smith confessed that returning to college was terrifying but made him feel empowered after overcoming those fears. 

He even joked with friend LeBron James about joining him in the student-athlete realm, possibly playing college football. 

During his NBA career, Smith took home two championships: one with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and one with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.

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