Former NBA Player J.R. Smith Lands First Endorsement Deal As HBCU Golfer


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J.R. Smith is taking advantage of the NCAA's new endorsement policy — the NBA player turned HBCU golfer has scored a name, image, and likeness deal with Lululemon, ESPN's Nick DePaula reports.

Smith started his professional basketball career fresh out of high school in 2004 and went on to become a 16-year NBA veteran. Now, the two-time champion is one of the biggest names in college sports after walking on to North Carolina A&T’s golf team.

The HBCU freshman will be Lululemon’s first male golf ambassador, according to Sports Illustrated. De Paula reports that Smith has landed the apparel brand’s latest golf campaign sporting their Evolution Polo.

Under his new Lululemon endorsement deal, Smith can promote their athletic apparel through social media posts and appear in advertisements. As a college athlete, Smith will be prohibited from championing the brand at NCAA-sanctioned events. 

Smith, who last played for the Lakers in 2020, has taken to social media to document his journey back to the classroom after his 16-year hiatus. In January, the freshman golfer jumped on his popularity and signed with Excel Management to represent his name, image, and likeness as an NCAA athlete.

Throughout his NBA career, Smith earned about $90 million, Sports Illustrated reports. Now, as a golfer at North Carolina A&T, the former basketball player will continue to rack in funds through sponsorships with golf apparel and equipment companies.

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