Guard hasn't hired agent; signed intent letter for UNC

Updated: May 3, 2004, 6:07 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. -- High school guard J.R. Smith will enter the NBA draft but hasn't signed with an agent.

The 6-foot-6 player from St. Benedict's averaged 23.3 points and 5.4 rebounds last year. He signed a letter-of-intent to North Carolina.

"I talked to my family and my coaches, and everyone was just, 'Calm down, slow down; let it come to you,"' Smith said at a news conference Monday. "It has."

Smith hopes to be chosen in the first round, but has no realistic expectation about where he might be selected.

"The big thing was me being ready or not," he said. "I think I've prepared myself well for the next level. I'm just going to keep working hard to get there. I knew what I could do."

Since Smith hasn't signed with an agent, he has until June 17 to withdraw his name from consideration for the draft, which is June 24.

Smith holds three school records: most points in a season (700), most 3-pointers in a season (108) and highest field-goal percentage in a season (54.1 percent).

He scored 30 points or more seven times as a senior and began to gather serious NBA consideration with his tournament play. He was named MVP or co-MVP of the Great Florida Shootout, the EA Sports Roundball Classic and the McDonald's High School All-American Game.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press