JR Smith Named North Carolina A&T’s Academic Athlete of the Year

    • Smith achieved a 4.0 GPA during his freshman year.
    • He recently became Lululemon's first male golf endorser through his NIL deal.

JR Smith dominated headlines when he announced he would play college golf, but his intention was always to excel academically.

On Monday, Smith was named North Carolina A&T’s Academic Athlete of the Year thanks to his 4.0 GPA in the 2021-22 school year.

Having retired from the NBA in 2020, Smith was reportedly inspired to get his college degree by Hall of Famer Ray Allen during a golf trip to the Dominican Republic.

Smith went pro straight from high school in the 2004 NBA Draft — one of the last draft classes allowed to do so before the NBA changed its eligibility rules following the 2005 Draft.

The 36-year-old freshman is also taking advantage of college sports’ NIL era: He recently became the first male golfer to endorse Lululemon.

Smith made over $90 million in career earnings over his 16-year NBA career.