NBA star J.R. Smith shares moving photo after baby daughter's preterm birth

J.R. Smith is known as something of a lovable knucklehead among NBA fans, and for prettygoodreason.

But no one was laughing when Smith and his wife, Jewel Harris, shared some sad news last month.

Smith and Harris, who were married just last summer, after his Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship, posted a tough video online on Jan. 7. In that video, Harris looked into the camera and told the internet that the couple's baby girl, Dakota, had been born five months early.

Dakota was alive, but five days after birth she weighed just one pound.

Smith and Harris didn't provide much more information then, but the situation was clearly dire.

A preterm berth occurs when a baby is born after less than 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says about about 1 in 10 babies born in the U.S. in 2015 was affected by the condition, which can cause serious health issues and even death.

That's bad enough, but worse still was that little Dakota was on the extreme end of that spectrum; being born five months early would indicated Harris was pregnant for little more than 20 weeks.

The Jan. 7 announcement by Smith and Harris was a somber moment for basketball fans. The news was doubly crushing because it struck Smith, who has seemed to mature a bit in recent years, just after he and Harris had been married, and just after he'd won his first NBA title.

On Monday, though, Smith updated the world with a bit of good news.

"Today is one of the greatest days of my life," he wrote to caption a photo he shared on Instagram. "Today I get to hold my youngest for the first time! GOD is GREAT! #DakotaStrong"

This does not mean the family is out of the woods yet — but it's definitely a dose of good news for Smith, Harris and interested NBA fans who have followed their tumultuous journey of late.

Here's wishing Smith, Harris and baby Dakota the best going forward.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.