All About Babies

This Photo of an NBA Star & His Preemie Daughter Will Melt Your Heart

Cavaliers star J.R. Smith posted a photo of himself holding his premature baby girl—born at just 22 weeks—for the first time.

Back in January, Cleveland Cavalier J.R. Smith and his wife Shirley shared an emotional story online about their daughter Dakota, who had been born five months early and weighed just one pound. Now just one month later, the basketball star is sharing some more positive news on Instagram, where he posted a beautiful image of his tiny baby girl snuggling on his bare chest for the very first time.

"Today is one of the greatest days of my life," he captioned the amazing photo. "Today I get to hold my youngest for the first time! GOD is GREAT! #DakotaStrong."

We are so happy for this family! And we love to see J.R. getting his kangaroo care on!

The NBA star and his wife have been pretty open about their precarious situation, with Shirley documenting Baby Dakota's journey on her blog, MyKotaBear. She posted a recent update on Monday, after she, too, was finally able to hold her daughter.

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A post shared by Kota Bear (@_mykotabear) on

"34 days later it was time," she wrote. "Time for me to smell her, time for her to rest in my spirit and most importantly time for her to lay on my heart. My sweet Dakota, your touch has calmed my soul and your warmth has fueled the energy I needed to keep going."

You can read the rest of her emotional blog post here. And if you'd like to share your prayers and words of encouragement with the Smith family on social media, be sure to use the hashtag #DakotaStrong.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter