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Smith, a 16-year NBA veteran, enrolled at North Carolina A&T State College in August, with the hopes of taking part in on the college’s golf staff.

After making the staff, the 36-year-old made his debut on the Elon Phoenix Invitational at Alamance Nation Membership.

And Smith acquired off to a reasonably strong begin, making two birdies within the first 5 holes. He remained in the course of the leaderboard via the entrance 9 at one over par.

Nonetheless, on the house stretch, issues took a flip for the more serious as he made six consecutive bogeys after which a double bogey on his seventeenth gap earlier than ending with one other bogey to shoot a 10-over 81.

In his second spherical of the day, it adopted an identical sample: begin with a troublesome end.

He completed with a 7-over 78 to maneuver up a couple of spots within the leaderboard.

Though he is had expertise of taking part in in a few of basketball’s largest moments in entrance of hundreds of thousands of individuals, Smith admitted he was nervous earlier than teeing off.

“I used to be nervous. I used to be,” he stated. “I did not actually know what to anticipate.”

Regardless of Smith’s up-and-down rounds, former teammate and NBA celebrity LeBron James expressed his admiration for the debutant golfer. In a tweet, James wrote, “HOW AMAZING IS THIS MAN!!! DAMN IM BEYOND PROUD OF MY BROTHER!”

Smith skipped going to school and went straight from highschool to the NBA in 2004 however stated he started fascinated with going to school throughout a visit to the Dominican Republic with Corridor of Famer Ray Allen.

Smith warms up with his fellow competitors before the Phoenix Invitational.

He’s primarily pursuing a level in liberal research — his lessons began on August 18 — however he’s now taking part in golf for one of many nation’s high traditionally Black faculties and universities (HBCUs).

The 6-foot-6 taking pictures guard performed professionally for a bunch of NBA groups, successful NBA titles with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.

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