J.R. Smith has headed to college. 17 years after he graduated from high school, the NBA cultural legend has decided to dip his toes into the college atmosphere and enroll at North Carolina A&T. For anyone following his Twitter feed, he seems to be looking to experience the full college experience, including joining the golf team. Because of this, Belly Up Sports has decided to explore what would be the best places to see J.R. show up on the North Carolina A&T campus.

J.R. in a Study Group

You walk into your Psych 101 or Macroeconomics study group and there is J.R. Smith. What do you do? Are you playing it cool? Do you go up and say “I love that you embrace contested threes?” At this point in his college career, you would only be seeing J.R. in freshman-level classes. In those classes, many of us are simply learning about theory and the world. J.R.’s perspective as a 35-year-old with lots of lived experience could be very valuable to the many humanities classes that freshmen take. Listening to him bring real-world perspective into a freshman study group would be a unique perspective, the things he’s seen in the NBA could fill a whole catalog. If J.R.’s tweets are any indication, he should be showing up to one of these and I hope the A&T freshmen are ready to take advantage.

J.R. Smith at the College Bar/Party

J.R. Smith taking a pull from a bottle.
J.R. smith enjoys an adult beverage.

I thought about this being a sorority or fraternity party but those are much too cliche. I want J.R. to show up at your average house party or college bar discount night. Word on the street is he’s not a Hennessy guy, but that doesn’t matter. We’ve seen him celebrate a whole ass championship with no shirt, this guy is here to party. What can the atmosphere get him to consume at the college bar night? I hope back-to-back shots of that drink special are in order. If it’s that random house party that is popping off, a keg stand or beer bong would be in order. Not to be one to force drinking on someone, maybe J.R. is down for one of those deep conversations we’ve had at a similar function. Regardless of what the event is, seeing J.R. at such a normal function would be a show-stopper.

J.R. Smith Enjoys Late-night Eats

We’ve all been there. You had a long night usually drinking, sometimes just chilling, but other times toking it up. You want a late-night snack and there are always a few places around your university that have the best food. Boom, in walks J.R. ready to grab a bite. Most of us, as would be the normal response, whisper to our friends “Yo, that’s J.R. Smith, pretty cool he’s out here eating like the plebians.” Ok, maybe that last word isn’t used but you get the point. Going to a study group makes sense. But frequenting a late-night, post 2 am college establishment, J.R. would be showing he’s here for the full experience.

J.R. Smith Attends Your Small Campus Event

Events that would seem to qualify: spoken word, campus theater event, associated student event, club sponsored event. Things of that nature. Imagine walking out and seeing J.R. seated in one of the front two rows. For the sake of the exercise, we will imagine that you know who he is, at least on some level. I could only imagine some of the butterflies a performer might feel seeing someone they know of staring right back at them. Or maybe you’re a fellow attendee. Do you walk up to J.R. after the event and ask him what he thought? Or do you hope to catch him at one of the above events before saying “Hey J.R., I saw you at the event, what were your thoughts?” 

J.R. Smith Gets a Work-study Job

J.R. and the A&T Bulldog statue.
J.R. Smith takes a photo with the A&T Bulldog.

This, to me, is the most fun possibility. Not because it is real, unlike the previous four, but because it would see absolutely hilarious. You walk into an A&T basketball game and there is J.R. taking your admission fee. Or maybe he’s made it to the big time in the sports department as is working the stats table for one of the games. What about seeing J.R. at the library help desk, helping you find that article or book you need for a research paper. His eccentricity on the basketball court could lead him to suggest some off-the-wall title that is the catalyst to that standout paper.

Some other work-study jobs could include basketball equipment manager. Imagine being an A&T hooper and there is J.R. making sure you are ready to perform on game day. Some tips you could get would be invaluable. Or maybe J.R. decides to work for sports and information, all of a sudden he’s interviewing you for the school website after the game. Take a deep breath, these are just basic questions, don’t think too much about the fact it’s an NBA champion and 6th man award winner asking you.

When J.R. gets to his 2nd or 3rd in school, you might find him in one of these work-study jobs. Your professor needs to get ready for a specific presentation, in walks J.R. with to set up the A/V equipment. Towering over the professor “Is that everything you need set up?” Or maybe, in his 2nd year, J.R. decides to be an RA. What are you getting away with him in charge? What is he toeing the line for? Honestly, this could be anyone’s guess. Regardless, sign me up.

Treat Him Normal

I think it’s safe to say it would be great to see J.R. pop up at any normal college function. No doubt it will be a little chaotic for him at times, but maybe the students at A&T will just treat him like any other student and J.R. will blend in, as much as his 6’6” frame will allow.

For more basketball coverage from Belly Up Sports, check out The Midweek Midrange show on YouTube on Wednesdays and @HoopsBellyUp on Twitter. Read additional coverage at Belly Up Sports.

About Author

Ryan Rodriguez

If you want to hear my thoughts, check out my podcast, The Coastal Connection, which I do with some former coaching colleagues available on Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts. You can also check out my personal blog, The Thoughts of r2, if you want to read me on more topics than just NBA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *