Previous NBA standout JR Smith has enrolled at North Carolina A&T and intends to be part of the traditionally Black university’s men’s golfing team if he gets cleared by the NCAA, the college verified on Wednesday.
North Carolina A&T athletics spokesman Brian Holloway explained to ESPN that Smith is officially enrolled in the school and has petitioned the NCAA to be suitable to participate in. Smith’s clock to compete as a collegiate athlete has not nevertheless started because he went to the NBA after large faculty. Athletes, in most instances, get five many years to full four a long time of eligibility.
At the professional-am at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, Smith informed reporters Wednesday he decided to go back again to school following a discussion with Basketball Hall of Famer Ray Allen.
“Ray Allen kind of confident me,” Smith explained Wednesday at the golfing event. “We experienced a little golfing vacation in [the Dominican Republic] and he was chatting about some of the items he was performing, about heading back to faculty and demanding yourself for us athletes. I actually took heed to it and decided to go back again — and 1 of the best liberal experiments applications is at A&T.”
Holloway explained the future stage in the system is navigating the 17 yrs considering the fact that Smith’s senior year in superior faculty (2004), which complicates the search for his academic records. But Smith is actively doing work to acquire his eligibility, he mentioned.
“We’re just going by way of the normal course of action we would go by way of with any prospective pupil-athlete,” Holloway claimed. “But this a single is just a small diverse.”
Per NCAA rules, “an particular person shall not be eligible for intercollegiate athletics in a activity if the specific ever competed on a specialist workforce in that activity.” But the regulations do not ban a former professional athlete from competing in a diverse sport. Several collegiate athletes have performed professional sports just before returning to faculty to compete in Division I athletics.
Chris Weinke was 25 when he enrolled at Florida Condition just after 6 seasons of specialist baseball. Weinke led Florida Point out to a nationwide title in 1999. He won the Heisman Trophy a 12 months afterwards, when he was 28.
Smith performs with a 5 handicap, in accordance to PGATour.com. North Carolina A&T golf mentor Richard Watkins advised the web site on Wednesday that obtaining Smith on the staff would be “a massive offer for A&T.”
“It truly is not incredibly normally that any person in his position really has an possibility to have a imagined, a desire, an plan, and to be equipped to go ahead and go in that direction,” Watkins mentioned. “He is a previous qualified athlete, but [it’s] a special set of situations. He didn’t go to school, in no way matriculated, the clock never started off.”
Smith, a McDonald’s All-American in large faculty, originally dedicated to engage in for Roy Williams and North Carolina before he determined to employ an agent and enter the 2004 NBA draft. The New Orleans Hornets chosen Smith with the 18th decide on. Smith won two NBA titles as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers (2015-16) and the Los Angeles Lakers (2019-20). He also gained the NBA’s Sixth Person of the Year award for the duration of the 2012-13 year.