‘Yessir!’: LeBron James Reacts to JR Smith’s Upcoming Golf Debut at the NCAA Tournament

Published 10/09/2021, 8:30 AM EDT


Former NBA veteran JR Smith has taken off to a new sport, namely golf. Going from playing at the professional level, Smith is now a freshman at North Carolina A&T University. The 36-YO is soon trying his hand at his first collegiate golf tournament and his former colleague LeBron James is extremely proud.

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Having played for 16 seasons in the NBA league, none would have expected such a turn of events for JR Smith. The former shooting guard has gone on to be a college student. Rather than hooping at STAPLES Center, he’s all set to submit assignments at college. The 2-time NBA champion decided to retire from the league and pursue a degree in liberal arts at the University.

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LeBron James is excited about JR Smith’s golf debut

Alongside his studies, Smith is also sparing his time for the Aggies golf team. NCAA had cleared Smith to play golf. And recently, they have announced that he’s qualified for making his golf debut on Oct 11-12 in the Phoenix Invitational hosted by Elon University.

His coach at the University, Richard Watkins, has already given a green signal prior to Smith’s debut. Watkins told“He (Smith) has a good enough golf game to put up some good numbers.” 

Now that the former NBA player is heading into his first golf tournament, his former star teammate LeBron James made a tweet to motivate him. The King is surely pumped up for Smith’s new and interesting beginnings at college.

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James and Smith played together for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2019-20 season. Smith won his career’s second NBA ring while playing for the Lakers, the first being with Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

Going reverse from NBA to college days

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Denver Nuggets shooting guard J.R. Smith (5) defends Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden (13) during the second half of the Nuggets’ 101-94 loss on Tuesday April 5, 2011 at the Pepsi Center. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Smith played for several bigwig teams throughout his time in the league. He was selected as the 18th overall pick by the New Orleans Hornets in the 2004 NBA Draft. From there on, Smith contributed to the Denver Nuggets as well as the New York Knicks. Being named as the Sixth Man of the Year in 2013, he gained recognition for his game.

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New beginnings are on his way for JR Smith. Let’s see what he makes out of his out-of-the-box decision.

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Pavni Ahuja

533 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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