The Hub Entertainment Watch List – Redefined: J.R. Smith
Retiring can mean different things to different people. Some people retire from a job and spend the rest of their time focused on family or their favorite hobbies while others may retire and find a new career path. In the case of NBA Champion, J.R. Smith, he retired his basketball but is looking to redefine his career with a new sport, golf.
Smith was drafted to the NBA straight out of high school at just 19 years old. He has won two NBA championships, scored 977 points over the course of his professional basketball career and rounds out the top 30 three-point shooters. Despite his success on the basketball court, the former guard decided to give it up and pursue a college degree and a men’s golf team. Now his transition story is being documented for the world to see.
The NBA champion is the subject of a four-part docu-series that began streaming on Prime Video on April 4, Redefined: J.R. Smith. The series is executive produced by fellow NBA Champion, LeBron James, and episodes range from 28 to 31 minutes. The show depicts his freshman year matriculation into the nation’s largest Historically Black University, North Carolina A&T, as well as his experience as a member of the men’s golf team.
While the series does focus on Smith’s journey, it also sheds light on the HBCU experience. Greensboro’s North Carolina A&T was founded in 1891 and is one of 107 colleges in the United States identified by the US Department of Education as an HBCU. Throughout the series, viewers are able to hear from university professors, faculty and students. Redefined touches on the sense of culture and camaraderie that thrives on HBCU campuses while also highlighting potential areas of improvement.
The show is able to draw attention to the fact that many HBCUs are underfunded and lack resources that may be found in predominantly white institutions. Smith uses his star power and platform to advocate for HBCUs as a viable choice for students of color and renew efforts to help the universities receive increased funding. Redefined ends on a positive note as it was revealed that Smith ended his freshman year with a 4.0 GPA, which is no easy task, especially as a student-athlete.