J.R. Smith Is Headed Back To School And Eyeing Eligibility To Play Golf At An HBCU

J.R. Smith Golf

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  • J.R. Smith went straight from high school to the NBA but has aspirations of playing a sport in college.
  • He is headed back to the classroom and wants to take his talents to the links.
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J.R. Smith is officially retired from professional basketball but he is hopeful that he still has some NCAA eligibility left. The two-time NBA champion recently enrolled at North Carolina A&T and wants to play for the golf team.

Out of high school, Smith was a five-star recruit and committed to the University of North Carolina. However, the NBA scouts kept reminding him that he could always go back to school whenever.

He ended up being drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft and forwent his time at UNC. As a result, he is hopeful to be granted four years of collegiate eligibility.

“He’s a former professional athlete, but (it’s) a unique set of circumstances,” said N.C. A&T head coach Richard Watkins said to the PGA Tour. “He didn’t go to college, never matriculated, the clock never started.”

Finding the game.

Smith started playing golf about 12 years ago after attending Moses Malone’s charity event. He has since become quite the fan of the game and often plays with other NBAers like Chris Paul and Ray Allen— who ultimately convinced him to go back to school.


The 6-foot-6, 200-pound 35-year-old plays to a 5 handicap and will begin classes in North Carolina on August 18. He is just waiting on the NCAA to sort out his eligibility which, knowing the NCAA, could take awhile.

When the NCAA does eventually get it together, Smith will be swinging for the Aggies in some capacity.

He is moving his entire family to Greensboro and looks forward to getting started.

“I’ve got no free time now,” Smith said. “Raising kids and going to school, my schedule will be full. I can’t wait to be a part of the HBCU family. I’ve really been embraced by everybody so far on campus. I’m looking forward to start going to football games and repping Aggie Pride.”

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