J.R. Smith & Wife Bring Baby Girl Dakota Home After Being Born Five Months Premature

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith is no stranger to headlines and had his fair share of controversies over the years. However, the athlete made news for a different reason earlier this year when it was announced that his daughter Dakota was born five months premature in January. Well wishes and prayers went to him and his family in the hopes that their youngest would pull through despite the odds.

The Smiths shared their news with the world early January with Jewel saying in a statement, “We know we are not the only family going through this, who will go through this, and who will ever go through this. That’s why we are sharing our story with you guys. Please keep us in your prayers and we’ll do the same for everyone else.”

A month later, in February, Smith shared an exciting update with the world when he and wife, Jewel, were able to hold their one-month-old baby Dakota signifying her progress from being prematurely a month prior at a shocking weight of one pound. Smith and Jewel visited their angel often at Hillcrest Hospital’s NICU where she was kept while she grew stronger by the day.

My boo got her first bottle today! #proudofyoubaby #kotastrong

A post shared by JR Smith (@teamswish) on


Dakota Smith is quite the fighter. Smith announced via Instagram that Baby Kota now weighed seven pounds and five ounces and could officially be taken home to join the family!

The Cleveland Cavs ball player captioned the sunny photo with, “We Walked In Together We Walked Out Together!! Thank you so much to our extended family at the #NICU You all are truly the WORLDS GREATEST! [Jewel] back to #TeamNoSleep #KotasHome”

A post shared by JR Smith (@teamswish) on


His wife Jewel also shared her joy on Instagram with a screenshot of gospel musician Travis Greene’s song “Made a Way” with the caption, “YOU!!! Made a Way…were standing here only bc YOU made a way.”

The family man and father of three shared another photo of his WCWs today (May 24) and included baby Dakota nestled on his chest.

The Smith family has come a long way since early January and we’re happy to hear that their family is now officially complete.

Photo Credit: JR Smith/Instagram

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.