J.R. Smith’s hard work this year has paid off. The former NBA player turned college student athlete was named North Carolina A&T’s Academic Athlete of the Year. Smith earned a 4.0 GPA while pursuing a degree in liberal studies and competing on the golf team.
The 36-year-old former NBA star responded to the news with a smile emoji.
Smith has documented his time in college and has been open about studying, getting his schoolwork done and all the stresses that come with college work.
When Smith first earned his 4.0, he celebrated on Twitter, saying, “I can’t even describe the feeling, I ain’t even gonna lie to you. I ain’t gonna lie. A lot of hard work went into that s— you know … Monday through Friday eight to eleven, sometimes longer, straight schoolwork. When you’re not used to going to school and doing all that s—, ahh man … freshman year you don’t think you can do it, you always hear about your disabilities.”
Smith is not the only one celebrating his accomplishments, as his former teammate LeBron James has chimed in as well.
After Smith was named Academic Athlete of the Year, James tweeted, “YESSIR @TheRealJRSmith!! Proud of you Kid!!! Love bro.”
Smith went right to the NBA after high school, so he missed out on the college experience. Now he is back in the classroom on his way to earning a degree.