Originally written on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Knicks shooting guard JR Smith is usually making headlines for all the wrong reasons. This time it seems that there’s more to the man than everyone has given him credit for. According to ESPN, Smith’s image in the media may actually have been tarnished unjustly. Smith comes across as hard-nosed and stubborn, but he’s actually very likable and sweet according to Brad Hennefer and his family. Brad is one of JR’s very good friends, and he was born with the genetic disorder known as Downs Syndrome. He was born in Cherry Hill, NJ, and he and Smith met on the golf course when JR was doing a fundraiser. The meeting was arranged by the pair’s fathers, and it was an instant connection. Often times, we see athletes befriending people that they meet from fundraisers and charity events, but this friendship was more than the superficial. Hennefer’s father describes the friendship by saying: “The first year we played golf here, J.R. played with Brad. Just that whole day with the camaraderie with J.R. and Brad, how they interacted with each other, was just spectacular. J.R. didn’t even know anything about Down syndrome and didn’t know anything about Brad — he just embraced him like anyone else. And it’s just been an awesome story ever since.” The two connected because of their love for golf and basketball. JR is an avid golfer and plays whenever he has an opportunity. Brad played high school basketball and was also on the varsity golf team. Since graduating high school, Brad runs a program called Golf For Life for children with Downs Syndrome, and he also travels the country as a motivational speaker. Brad’s father is confident that that work that JR does off the court is outshined by the negativity that is usually aired about JR and had this to say about it: “What [Smith] does off the court is just unbelievable — what he does for the underprivileged kids through his foundation and what he’s done for the Down syndrome community. It’s amazing what he does.” It’s nice to hear that this side of Smith does exist. There are so many negative stories about JR circulating, and now we know he’s human just like the rest of us.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

'Free Tom Brady' rally draws about 150 Patriots fans

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense


John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat trick, sets career high for goals

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

LeBron lifts Cavaliers to brink of Finals, but are they ready?

Will Phil Jackson give himself a chance to succeed with Knicks?

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

Seahawks fan starts GoFundMe for Russell Wilson's contract

Billy Donovan thanks Florida fans with full-page ad

WATCH: Daniel Cormier gets into it with Ryan Bader

Jim Harbaugh compares his driving to Jeff Gordon's

WATCH: High school seals win with perfect hidden ball trick

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.