Retired NBA champion J.R. Smith attends N.C. A&T

By: Kurtis Alston

The number one ranked public HBCU in the nation, North Carolina A&T State University, welcomes NBA champion J.R. Smith. He is pursuing a degree in liberal studies and also hopes to join A&T’s men’s golf program.

Smith, a New Jersey native, is one of the last two draft picks to go from high school straight to the NBA draft. He is currently waiting for the NCAA to sort out his eligibility so he can join the Aggies golf team. This will be a huge step forward for the Aggies golf team since they are now part of the Big South.

Smith does not just play golf as a hobby but he actually takes the game seriously. He started playing the game 12 years ago and recently competed in the Wyndham Pro-Am Championship. After winning the 2016 NBA Championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he racked up some gear playing with professional golfers: Titleist blades, a Scotty Cameron putter, and TaylorMade woods from the great U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson.

A&T may have found a way to bring in a new endorsement deal if the NCAA grants Smith eligibility. Having someone of his caliber and name recognition should bring in monetary support and boost fan morale after their much debated move to the Big South. Also, with the new NIL law that allows athletes to profit from their likeness, Smith opened a door not only for A&T golfers but other college golfers around the country.