Former NBA star J.R. Smith gets stung after stepping on beehive

Smith, the North Carolina A&T freshman, was treated for injuries after accidentally disturbing a nest of yellowjackets during his debut golf game.

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J.R. Smith, who recently enrolled in North Carolina A&T State University as an undergraduate student and member of the school’s golf team, was treated for injuries after being stung by yellowjackets during his debut game. 

According to The Golf Channel, Smith had shot 19-over during a 36-hole day Monday at the Elon Phoenix Invitational and was three holes into his final round. The 36-year-old former NBA star went into the woods to search for a wayward tee, when he accidentally disturbed a nest of yellowjackets. 

J.R. Smith of the North Carolina A&T Aggies waits to hit his tee shot on the ninth hole during the Phoenix Invitational at Alamance Country Club in Burlington, N.C. (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Reports note that Smith was walking through pine straw when the wheel of his pushcart rolled over the opening of the underground nest. A short video posted to Twitter shows him brushing the insects off his ankles. 

He and his group were granted a 15-minute break, during which freshman Smith was treated by medical personnel. 

“To get stung on the basketball court or in an arena never happens,” Smith told The Associated Press. “That’s one of the very few things you don’t have to worry about [in basketball] – other animals. When I got stung, I was like ‘No way.’ ”

The Golf Channel reported that Smith eventually was able to continue playing. He had parred his first two holes, but after being stung, he double-bogeyed number 12, then made bogeys at holes 14, 15 and 18 to turn in 5-over 41. He improved on the second nine, making six pars and three bogeys to wrap up at 8-over 79.

Smith said he tried to turn the bee sting incident into a positive.

“This might be your equivalent of a flu game,” said Smith, referencing the infamous 1997 NBA Finals game when Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan played with the flu — and still managed to will his team to victory over the Utah Jazz. 

Smith is in his first semester at North Carolina A&T, where he is studying liberal arts. He was encouraged to attend the HBCU by his friends, fellow former pro basketball stars Chris Paul and Ray Allen. 

As previously reported, Smith started playing golf 12 years ago. He said the late NBA great Moses Malone introduced him to the game, and he has consistently improved since.

In August, the new liberal studies major told The Winston-Salem Journal, “It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been in school.”

“I’m excited about these new challenges, and I’ll have to really buckle down,” Smith noted. “I’ve got no free time now with raising kids and going to school, so I’ll be busy.”

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