Former basketball star J.R. Smith raked in millions of dollars over his 16-year NBA career -- but that hasn't stopped him from taking advantage of the NCAA's new NIL rules.
Smith, who famously went back to school after his retirement from the league, is now a freshman golfer at North Carolina A&T. And as he heads into his second semester with the Aggies, the two-time NBA champion has reportedly signed an NIL representation deal with Excel Sports.
ESPN NBA insider Arian Wojnarowski broke the news on Friday morning.
"Let’s go @TheRealJRSmith excited to be a part of this! #greensboro#fullcircle," Smith's new Excel Sports agent, Lance Young, wrote on Twitter.
For the most part, sports fans everywhere are overwhelmingly supportive of Smith's post-NBA endeavors.
"I’m 100% here for JR Smith making Golf cool," one fan wrote.
"I hope we see more retired athletes go into golf. This is amazing," another added.
"JR Smith goes to college and lives his best life has to be one of the greatest sports stories of all time," another said.
One fan even noted Smith's life work as the ideal career path:
- skip college after high school
- work a normal career
- hone your golf game
- enroll in college and join golf team.
As arguably the most well-known athlete in Division 1 college golf with a massive social media following, Smith will likely bring in endorsement deals that earn him well into six figures, per Wojnarowski.
His career earnings over his NBA career clock in at roughly 90 million.