The $88 Million College Golfer? WTF…
Typically, college students are associated with massive amounts of debt. University and grad school are crazy expensive these days. As a result, many people are stuck in loans that will take them years to pay off. However, that is unless you are a former NBA player.
News broke that J.R. Smith is heading to North Carolina A&T where he will play for the golf team. The 36-year-old spent a total of 16 years playing pro basketball. Smith was even drafted to the NBA directly after high school because his talents were apparent from a young age. In addition, he was later awarded the Sixth-Man of the Year award in 2013. Furthermore, he joined the Lakers in clinching their 17th NBA Championship last year.
Transition to College Golf
Always a keen golfer, Smith enrolled at A&T and walked on to the golf team. A respectable 5-handicap, Smith qualified for his first tournament of the season on Monday at the Elon Phoenix Invitational as the Aggies No. 5 man.
Under tournament conditions, Smith was off to a solid start, playing his first nine holes in a few over par before hopping on the bogey train en route to an opening-round of 12-over par 83.
He settled in a bit more in the second round to shoot a 7-over par 78.
followed @TheRealJRSmith for the first five holes today in his first tournament as a member of the @NCATAGGIES Golf Team. Had a pair of birdies, a great chip and stuck his approach on No. 9 to within a foot from the pin. @WFMY @ncatsuaggies pic.twitter.com/s7q6rpk1pa
— Brian Hall (@bhallwfmy) October 11, 2021
“I was nervous, I was,” Smith said. “I didn’t really know what to expect.”
“I was pretty pleased with him,” Aggies coach Richard Watkins said. “He made some mistakes, did some things you will do if you’re not used to competing. Just going out and playing recreational golf with your buddies is a whole lot different than competition.
“That first 18 was just to get his feet wet. Then he buckled down, and I was really pleased with what he did that second 18, because education doesn’t come cheap. And I think he learned some lessons out there today.”
Smith teed it up in the third round on Tuesday morning looking to continue his trend of progressively lower scores. Because if there’s one thing J.R. Smith doesn’t like, it’s losing.
“More than anything, it’s just being able to go out there and compete as one of the guys, just another name, and get my (butt) kicked,” Smith said of what he likes about college golf.
“It was actually a very humbling feeling. I’m ready to go to that range to work on it. I had fun, but I don’t like losing.”
This article originally appeared on Clubhouse.SwingU.