J.R. Smith, North Carolina A&T teammates take in third round of Tour Championship

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J.R. Smith is making an amazing transition from retired NBA star to college golfer.

He played professional basketball for 16 seasons, and was a part of two championship teams, the 2016 Cavaliers and the 2020 Lakers. Now he’s a college student, frequently tweeting about some of the classes he’s taking while aiming to crack the starting lineup for North Carolina A&T’s men’s golf team.

On Saturday, Smith and his Aggies’ teammates got a first-hand look at the best golfers in the world as they were on hand at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta for the third round of the Tour Championship.

They also got to meet and take some pictures with Jon Rahm before he started his third round.

Smith turns 46 on Sept. 9 but sounds like a lot of other freshmen.

“I hated school growing up and I knew this would be a challenge, but that’s not going to discourage me one second. You have to be able to buckle down and lock into new journeys and challenges coming in your life. Observe, learn and adapt,” Smith recently tweeted.

Nearly two decades ago, Smith committed to play basketball for Roy Williams at North Carolina. But after impressive performances in high school all-star games, including the 2004 McDonald’s All-American game in which he was named co-MVP with Dwight Howard, Smith decided bypass college for the NBA.

Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today contributed to this article.