J.R. Smith skipped college to pursue what turned out to be a successful NBA career.
Smith then decided to retire and pursue another passion — golf at North Carolina A&T.
Along the way, the ex-pro developed into an elite student away from the course. On Monday, Smith was named Academic Athlete of the Year after earning a 4.0 G.P.A.
In December, Smith — who enrolled in North Carolina A&T in 2021 — previously acknowledged the work he put in the classroom.
“I can’t even describe the feeling, I ain’t even gonna lie to you… A lot of hard work when into the s—, bruh,” Smith said in a Twitter video back in December. “Especially when you don’t think you can do it, you always hear about your disabilities… I ain’t gonna lie, I’m happy about that one.”