Former NBA star J.R. Smith has enrolled in college and is preparing to launch a golfing career, the PGA Tour reports

Smith, who won NBA championships in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers and in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers, will be matriculating at North Carolina A&T University, pursuing a degree in liberal studies. He's also seeking to join the school's golf team.

The NCAA allows student-athletes five years to compete in four seasons, with the fifth year being a red-shirt year. Because Smith never played collegiate basketball, he still has all his all of his eligibility.

“They always told me I could go back [to school] whenever,” Smith said. “So, this is whenever.”

Smith first took to golf after attending the late Moses Malone’s charity event about 12 years ago. He said Malone told him to get out of the cart and try to hit the ball. When his first drive traveled 300 yards, he was hooked.

Richard Watkins, who coaches the women’s and men’s teams at A&T, acknowledged that Smith becoming a student-athlete is a significant moment for the school.

“It's a big deal for A&T. It's a big deal for him,” Watkins said.“It's not very often that somebody in his position really has an opportunity to have a thought, a dream, an idea, and to be able to go ahead and move in that direction."

According to ESPN, former NBA player and Hall of Famer Ray Allen convinced Smith to return to school during a golfing event in the Dominican Republic.

"Ray Allen kind of convinced me," he admitted. "We had a little golf trip in [the Dominican Republic] and he was talking about some of the things he was doing, about going back to school and challenging yourself for us athletes. I really took heed to it and decided to go back — and one of the best liberal studies programs is at A&T."

Unlike basketball, a team sport, Smith loves the individual challenge that the game of golf presents.

“Golf is one of those games that has you feeling really high and or can bring you down to your knees and humble you,” he explained. “And to have that feeling and knowing that all of the game’s pretty much on my own hands and I don’t have to worry about teammates to pass the ball and receiving passes and playing defense so, I can play my game and just have fun."

The Aggies golf season begins in the spring of 2022.