J.R. Smith falls apart in first NCAA golf tourney for North Carolina A&T

Former NBA shooting guard J.R. Smith struggled at his first NCAA golf tourney for North Carolina A&T State University. The retired sixteen-year NBA veteran first enrolled at the university during the summertime. Then, Smith announced his plan to play golf for the college.

Hosted by Elon University, the golfing match took place at Alamance Country Club in Burlington, N.C. During the 36-year-old’s first day of the 2021 Phoenix Invitational, Smith began with hitting two birdies in his first five holes. Under pressure, the 6’6” ex-NBA star played decent for a little while.

However, Smith proceeded to record seven bogeys and a double bogey, finishing his first-day performance with an 81 (+7) score. The guard almost finished in last place; he ranked six spots above dead-last. Smith may have come up short on the scorecard, but it was better to have tried than not at all. It was a great learning experience for the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year winner.

Meanwhile, in the second round, J.R. is improving. After his first ten holes, he is 3-over-par. On Twitter, former NBA teammate and 17-time All-Star LeBron James posted: “HOW AMAZING IS THIS MAN!!! DA-N IM BEYOND PROUD OF MY BROTHER!”

Athletes from a wide range of different sports are giving golf a try, especially NFL quarterbacks. On July 6, 2021, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady played against one another in TNT’s “The Match.” Rodgers was paired up with Bryson DeChambeau, while Brady’s partner was Phil Mickelson.

While the two quarterbacks were tied after nine holes, Rodgers later drained a birdie putt on the 16th hole. That shot gave Rodgers and DeChambeau the victory over Michelson and Brady. Practice makes perfect. This applies to basketball, football, golf and a long list of other sports.

Moreover, J.R. Smith last played professional basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. On Jul. 1, 2020, the guard signed a substitution contract with the organization, substituting Avery Bradley. He only played six games in the 2019-20 NBA season. But, at least he won his second ring with LeBron James.

In the 2012-13 season, off the bench, he averaged a career-high 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 80 games played for the New York Knicks. Over the course of his playing career, he accumulated $90,029,527. This amount does not include endorsement deals.

On the Denver Nuggets, during the 2008-09 season, Smith recorded a career-high 45 points and a franchise-record 11 threes, defeating the Kings 118-98 on Apr. 13, 2009. The Nuggets clinched the Northwest Division title and home-court advantage in the postseason for the first time in 21 years.

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