Sportress of Blogitude

J.R. Smith: Daughter born five months premature ‘doing good’

It’s been a challenging season for J.R. Smith on the court, as a thumb injury has kept him out of the lineup since December. But given what the Cleveland Cavaliers star has been going through away from the game, his injury woes seem arguably trivial.

Smith and wife Jewel Harris revealed earlier this year that their daughter Dakota was born five months premature on Jan. 7 and weighed only one pound. While Dakota still remains hospitalized, there have been encouraging signs along the way, with Smith recently saying she’s doing better and actually gaining weight.

Still, to say it’s been a difficult 2017 for Smith, Harris and their family — which includes two older daughters, Demi and Peyton, along with Dakota — would be a dramatic understatement.

“This has probably been one of the tougher years, if not the toughest year for me, on and off the court,” Smith said. “Just part of the process I guess. I think it will just make the story better.”

Smith was reluctant to reveal any specifics about Dakota, saying his wife prefers to keep some matters private.

“They’re doing good,” Smith said of wife and daughter, via “My daughter is putting on a couple of pounds so it’s good to see.”

Smith in February shared a heartwarming photo of daughter Peyton sharing a touching moment with young Dakota.

My loves… #KotaBear #SlimDem

A post shared by JR Smith (@teamswish) on

And then in February, Smith shared an incredibly intimate and touching photograph of him holding his daughter for the first time.

Smith is nearing a return after being cleared to fully practice Wednesday. The fractured right thumb has kept Smith out of action since Dec. 20.

So much has happened since then, obviously, but the notion he will be back in action on the court must be encouraging, although not as encouraging as the knowledge his little daughter Dakota continues to battle and is getting better.