After completing his first semester at North Carolina A&T, retired NBA star J.R. Smith has earned a 4.0 GPA, and took to Instagram to celebrate in an exceptionally heartfelt, emotional post.
In the video he said, “I can’t even describe the feeling, I ain’t even gonna lie to you. A lot of hard work went into that s—t. When I tell you some s—t you worked for, oh my God. Monday through Friday 8 to 11, sometimes longer. Straight school work, when you’re not used to going to school and all of that s—t, oh man.”
He continued in the 2 minute video, “especially when you don’t think you can do it… you always hear about your disabilities and all this s—t that plays a part in why you can’t think when you want to, calculate and formulate s—t when you want to and still being able to achieve that s—t… I ain’t even gonna lie, I’m happy about that one.”
This is Smith’s first brush with higher education after the New Jersey native “was selected in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft out of St. Benedict’s Prep School.” With a 16-year-long career in the NBA with stints on the New Orleans Hornets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, “Smith wrapped up his career by helping the Lakers win the 2020 NBA championship,” HBCU Buzz notes.
For life after basketball, the two-time NBA champion decided to enroll in college at the age of 36, and “all along, Smith insisted he was there to learn and get the college experience he sacrificed when he opted for the NBA straight out of high school.”
Achieving this academic feat is even more impressive as Smith is a student athlete on the Aggie golf team and competed in four tournaments during the September and October months.
Clearly, Smith has been working hard both in the classroom and on the course, divulging with reporters that he knows his former teammates have been keeping track, “I got a lot of great feedback. Chris Paul was telling me guys were talking about it in the locker room. Guys are really looking for my scores, so I got to take care of business so when I see them it ain’t going to be too much backlash.”
Smith has proven that he’s acing his schoolwork, but he might need to put in some more work on his golf game. For his first competitive college tournament, Smith finished 81st out of a field of 84. In an article Golf Digest incredulously wrote, “We can’t believe we’re saying this, but Smith might be better at playing school than playing golf.”