J.R. Smith, who was once considered a basketball prodigy, has been named the academic athlete of the year at North Carolina A&T State University. Smith, a senior majoring in business administration, earned a 4.0 grade point average while maintaining a 3.8 GPA in his first semester of classes. He was selected as the recipient of the award after being nominated by fellow students. Smith was also named the school’s male student-athlete of the year.
Smith, who played high school ball at Westfield High School in Charlotte, N.C., led the Aggies to their second consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearance this past spring. In the tournament, he averaged 13 points per game and shot 45 percent from the field. Smith scored a career-high 29 points against Tuskegee University.
Smith, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but grew up in Greensboro, N.C., is the son of former NBA player John Smith. His father played professionally in Europe before becoming a coach and scout.