CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Only one thought ran through Jarrett Jack's mind when he heard his name at Saturday's commencement ceremony at Georgia Tech, signaling the end of a long but proud journey.
"I was just trying not to fall," Jack said. "That was the No. 1 thing right there. Forget all this cool stuff and look at this one foot in front of the other and get on across this stage and go ahead and sit on down. That's what I'm going to do."
Jack's whirlwind 24 hours was highlighted by one of the biggest moments of his life: receiving his degree in business management and keeping a promise he made to his mother, Louise, a decade ago when he decided to forgo his senior year of eligibility and enter the 2005 NBA draft.
Jack hopped a private jet with his mother after Friday night's win over the 76ers in Brooklyn and flew to Atlanta for the early-morning ceremony. He still had time to snap a few selfies with fellow graduates and exchange props with good buddies before jumping on a private jet and arriving in North Carolina before the Nets tipped off against the Hornets.
"Everything went good, man," Jack said. "Called my name and [I] walk across the stage, got my piece of paper. It was great, though. A lot of friends and family came down. You really don't feel it until you walk out there amongst your peers with your cap and gown on and you see everything all set up. It's like, 'Man, it's really going down right here.' So [it's] a special feeling."
Garnett gets a rest
It was the second game of a back-to-back and Kevin Garnett got a night off. Starting Cory Jefferson (11 points) made it Lionel Hollins' sixth different starting lineup in the past six games.