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J.R. Smith is officially cleared by the NCAA to play golf for North Carolina A&T


Former NBA player JR Smith will walk on as a freshman and play for the North Carolina A&T men’s golf team.

NCAA approves J.R. Smith to play college golf for North Carolina A&T


The NCAA cleared the veteran of 16 NBA seasons to play golf for North Carolina A&T University, an HBCU, on Tuesday after a review of his amateur status, according to The Undefeated.

“It was probably one of the most exciting feelings I've had in a while. I really didn't know how it was going to go,” J.R. Smith said Monday. “But to be able to actually call myself a student-athlete is a great feeling.”


“It’s going to be fun,” Smith continued. “Obviously different environments from playing in front of 20,000 people to playing in a college golf gallery. But it’s still as nerve-racking as shooting a free throw in front of 5,000 instead of making a 5-foot putt in front of three. So it all correlates the same for me.”

The 16-year NBA vet last appeared in the league in 2019-20, when he saw game action six times for the Los Angeles Lakers. A former first-round pick of the then-New Orleans Hornets in 2004, the guard has career averages of 12.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest over 977 career games (395 starts).


He played for the Hornets (2004-06), Denver Nuggets (2006-11), Knicks (2011-15), Cleveland Cavaliers (2015-19) and Lakers.


Smith won NBA championships with the Cavaliers in 2016 and Lakers in 2020.

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