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J.R. Smith signs NIL deal with Excel Sports Management as he continues college golf career

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J.R. Smith has signed with Excel Sports Management to represent him in potential NIL deals, according to ESPN. 

Excel Sports is an "industry-leading management and marketing agency that represents top-tier talent" such as Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and many other professional golfers. 

Smith, the 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, is currently in his second semester at North Carolina A&T, an HBCU in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is a member of the men's golf team. According to the report, Excel’s Lance Young said Smith is drawing significant NIL interest from clothing manufacturers, golf equipment and video game companies. 

A new NCAA rule permits college athletes to sign NIL deals where they can endorse products based on their image and likeness. Last year, Stanford's Rachael Heck, the 2021 NCAA Individual Champion and ANNIKA Award winner, signed with Excel. 

Smith, 36, had a 16-year NBA career and won titles with the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers, which was the last time he played in the NBA. Exactly a year and a day after he won the title with the Lakers in the NBA's COVID bubble, Smith made his college golf debut and was stung by several yellow jackets after aggravating a nest while searching for a wayward tee shot in the woods. 

In December, Smith tweeted out that he received a 4.0 GPA in his first semester.