Georgia Tech forward Rand Rowland will be honored this weekend at the Final Four for his community service. He is hopeful to parlay his time in Phoenix, Ariz., into the start of a career coaching.
Rowland was scheduled to leave New York early Friday following Tech’s loss in the NIT finals for Phoenix. Rowland was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Good Works Team, which recognizes 10 players nationally for their positive impact on their communities.
Rowland is heavily involved in service activities through Tech’s student-athlete advisory board. He helped start a peer mentorship program that paired upperclassman mentors with freshman athletes. He also helped implement a workshop to educate incoming freshman athletes about relationship violence. He helped lead a bone marrow registry drive conducted at men’s and women’s basketball games in February.
Rowland was to join the other nine members of the team for a service activity, a basketball clinic, a dinner and then the opportunity to attend the Final Four games. The players are to be recognized on the court during the second national semifinal game Saturday.
While at the Final Four, Rowland’s hope was to also meet with college coaches about a possible graduate assistant position. The NABC holds its annual convention during the Final Four, and hundreds of college coaches typically descend upon the event. He said that coach Josh Pastner was helping him in his search.
“Just trying to explore all the options and see where God leads me,” Rowland said.
Rowland was a walk-on for the past three seasons and was put on scholarship by Pastner in January for his final semester. He graduated in December with a business administration degree. The loss on Thursday and the conclusion of his career were a lot to handle in the wake of the defeat.
“Obviously, it’s going to take a little while to get over losing the championship game, because you really, really wanted it,” he said. “But I’m sure once I have time to reflect on it, I’m so thankful for the teammates that I’ve had through the whole way, especially the guys that have been here the whole time.”