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!”
HOW AMAZING IS THIS MAN!!! DAMN IM BEYOND PROUD OF MY BROTHER! https://t.co/i4Vsi8Pskk
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 11, 2021
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
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.
Former NBA player @TheRealJRSmith of the @NCATAGGIES warms up with his fellow competitors before the Phoenix Invitational at Alamance Country Club in Burlington, North Carolina. 📸: @ghalverson pic.twitter.com/EI6bpSERSv
— Getty Images Sport (@GettySport) October 11, 2021
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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