It looks like J.R. Smith is getting to the bag while he enjoys his time as the HBCU community’s most known golfer.
Smith, who is a former NBA veteran and NBA champion turned HBCU athlete, has signed with Excel Sports for his NIL representation.
It is reported that the former NBA marksman could receive deals that could earn him well into six figures of income. As he gets acclimated to his second semester as a student at North Carolina A&T State University, the largest HBCU in the nation, Smith is benefiting from the new power given to student-athletes.
While Smith has already made close to $90 million in his NBA career, the NIL deals he grabs as an undergraduate student could be very impactful not only for himself but for HBCU sports in general. Smith was one of the last NBA athletes to come to the league straight out of high school.
Smith choosing to attend NC A&T and become an Aggie was one of the biggest stories in HBCU sports last year. The exposure that NC A&T has received from Smith’s decision has benefited both the school and the HBCU community.
In one of the most important eras for HBCU athletics and these institutions’ athletes, coaches, and university officials must bring as much attention to these schools as possible. Smith’s deals will continue to put HBCUs in the spotlight as he works on getting his degree.
According to ESPN, Smith’s agent Lance Young said that Smith has already gained “significant NIL interest among golfing equipment and clothing manufacturers and video game companies.” Smith could be an important factor in not only highlighting HBCUs but he could also serve as a role model for many young Black people trying to get into golf.
Per ESPN, Smith has expressed an interest in becoming a bridge for marginalized minority groups to start to participate in the game of golf.
Smith finished his first semester at NC A&T with a 4.0.