Former Cavaliers’ sharpshooter eyes playing a different sport in college

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Cleveland Cavaliers’ JR Smith shoots against the Detroit Pistons in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WKBN) – Multiple published reports say that former Cleveland Cavaliers’ guard J.R. Smith has enrolled at North Carolina A&T, and hopes to join the school’s men’s golf team.

He is petitioning the NCAA for clearance, since he went straight to the NBA out of the high school ranks.

North Carolina A&T spokesman Brian Holloway says the next step is gathering Smith’s academic records from 17 years ago.

According to NCAA rules, “an individual shall not be eligible for intercollegiate athletics in a sport if the individual ever competed on a professional team in that sport.”

But the laws do not ban a former pro athlete from competing in a different sport. Multiple collegiate athletes have played professional sports before returning to school to compete in Division I athletics.

Smith won two NBA titles during his basketball career with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2016) and Los Angeles Lakers (2020).

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