GREENSBORO, N.C. — *EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from a previous story.
High school All-American, two-time NBA champion, and now, collegiate academic honoree.
Former Cavaliers guard JR Smith raised eyebrows last summer when he enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University with the goal of both earning his degree and competing for the school's men's golf team. All these months later, the 36-year-old appears to have proved his doubters wrong, earning the college's Academic Athlete of the Year honors for 2021-22.
Smith, a liberal studies major, posted a 4.0 GPA during his freshman campaign at the renowned HBCU. The 16-year-NBA veteran called his success in the classroom "power no one will ever take from me!"
"Literally, these assignments still make my heads sweat," Smith tweeted, while also discussing his diagnosis of ADHD since childhood. "Overcoming these fears of being vulnerable and open about my disability has given me real power!"
On the course, Smith competed in four events for North Carolina A&T, with an average score of 85.6 across 12 rounds of competition. While he was consistently near the bottom of the standings, he only finished last once, and had a season-best 78 at the Elon Phoenix Invitational in October.
Of course, J.R. will forever be beloved by Cavs fans from his role as the team's shooting guard from 2015-18, and his 12-point performance in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals remains the stuff of legend. Smith averaged 12.4 points per game during his career with three different teams, and even earned a second ring with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.
Both of those titles were won with Akron native LeBron James leading the way, and the Cavaliers legend was among several congratulating Smith for his efforts.