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Ex-NBA star JR Smith stung by hornets, high scores during first collegiate golf tournament


BURLINGTON, N.C. — JR Smith stepped right into a hornets nest in his first faculty golf event, and it had nothing to do together with his excessive rating.

The 36-year-old two-time NBA champion was actually stung by hornets whereas finishing his spherical Tuesday for North Carolina A&T on the second day of Elon’s Phoenix Invitational.

“To get stung on the basketball court docket or in an enviornment, by no means occurs,” mentioned Smith, now a freshman walk-on. “That is one of many only a few issues you do not have to fret about [in basketball] — different animals. After I bought stung, I used to be like ‘No manner.'”

The hornets simply added to the sting of Smith’s birdie-less spherical of 8-over-par 79 on the Donald Ross-designed structure. Mixed together with his two rounds Monday, he completed at 29 over 240 — in 81st place out 84 entries.

Smith mentioned he is decided to enhance as a result of he is aware of others are paying consideration. He communicated with Suns guard Chris Paul after Monday’s two rounds and heard from ex-NBA teammates as a part of a gaggle textual content.

“I bought numerous nice suggestions,” Smith mentioned. “Chris Paul was telling me guys have been speaking about it within the locker room. Guys are actually searching for my scores, so I bought to handle enterprise so after I see them it ain’t going to be an excessive amount of backlash.”

Nonetheless, he made an impression on the occasion. Properly after the spherical, taking part in companion Mason Whatley of Presbyterian went to have {a photograph} with Smith.

“He has made golf cool for individuals,” Whatley mentioned.

When the hornets attacked, being an envoy for the sport was not Smith’s prime precedence.

It occurred on his third gap of the third spherical at Alamance Nation Membership. His tee shot went off the golf green and have become embedded in pine straw. He discovered the ball, however his pull cart’s wheel rolled over the the nest.

Smith darted away from that space, waving his arms, earlier than needing therapy. Smith, together with taking part in companions Florian Blatti of George Washington and Whatley, have been granted a 15-minute break as different teams performed by.

“I attempted to show it right into a constructive,” Smith mentioned, referring to suiting up whereas ailing within the NBA. “This may be your equal of a flu sport.”

Smith had the sixth-best rating out of six gamers on his crew. The Aggies completed eleventh within the 13-team area, 57 pictures off the tempo set by event champion Elon.

Smith performed 16 years within the NBA, successful championships with Cleveland in 2016 and with the Los Angeles Lakers final yr within the Florida pandemic bubble. The Lakers’ title-clinching win got here precisely one yr earlier than his debut as an Aggies golfer.

Smith mentioned he has a spherical tentatively arrange subsequent week with not too long ago retired North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams. Smith was initially set to play basketball for Williams’ Tar Heels earlier than going leaping straight to the NBA in 2004.



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