Dec. 13, 2014
KT Harrell's teammates cheer him on Auburn graduation ceremonies Saturday
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- His teammates were cheering and shouting and applauding. You could tell by the photo.
But KT Harrell's Auburn teammates weren't celebrating another one of his baskets. They were cheering him at graduation Saturday.
"Appreciate my brothers for being there during this moment! Family for life!" Harrell tweeted.
Harrell became the third Auburn basketball player on the current team to earn his degree. Two transferred in with a diploma. A fourth, from from last year's team, has graduated since Bruce Pearl took over as head coach last March.
"Can I get a #WarEagle for @KtHarrell1 walking across the stage today!" Pearl tweeted Saturday. "On and off the court a scholar athlete @AuburnTigers @AuburnMBB"
Fifteen Auburn football players participated in graduation ceremonies, too.
"It's a great feeling," Harrell said. "The main thing for me is to make my parents proud and to see them and how they look at me, and how much they say they're proud of me. It means a lot to me. Another thing I get to focus on basketball a lot more than about studying for tests late at night or if I'm going to pass this class, you don't have to think about that any more. I can just focus on basketball and getting better. That's important."
Harrell has already done well at this basketball thing. He averaged 18.3 points per game last season, and leads the Tigers in scoring this season, averaging 18.3 points per game again, the second best in the SEC, heading into Sunday's 3 p.m. game at Clemson.
Harrell began his college career at Virginia, and found a home at Auburn.
"It's been a long journey. A lot of ups and downs," Harrell said. "But I wouldn't change a thing. I've learned a lot in my college career and I'm still learning.
"A lot of guys do leave and they try to come back, but to say that I got my degree it means a lot to me and a lot to my family, the coaches, to my teammates, and I'm just thankful. I'm thankful for Auburn and the opportunity it's given me, the coaches have given me, and I'm really proud."
Pearl called Harrell's graduation exciting. Harrell joins Antoine Mason and K.C. Ross-Miller as Auburn players with degrees. They're working on their master's degree in adult education. Harrell is working on the other half of his double major in public administration.
Chris Denson graduated after Pearl arrived last March.
"That's now four student-athletes who have graduated since May in men's basketball, which is really quite an accomplishment," Pearl said. "I'm really proud that there's that commitment. That's why we're doing what we're doing."
Teammate Kareem Canty's tweet...
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: