It wasn’t so much being placed on scholarship for his final semester that meant so much to Georgia Tech walk-on forward Rand Rowland. It was the reaction that teammates and coaches had for him when coach Josh Pastner made the announcement prior to the Yellow Jackets’ game Saturday against No. 9 Louisville.
Rowland has loved serving mostly as a practice player for the Jackets since arriving from White County High in northeast Georgia in 2013. It is ideal grounding for him to pursue his ambition of becoming a college coach. Plus, there’s free gear and a seat on the sideline for every game. Beyond what he was getting out of the deal, though, Rowland just wanted to know that he was adding value to the team.
“So for coach (Pastner) to put me on scholarship and then have other coaches and teammates congratulate me and say, ‘You’ve earned it,’ I think that was probably the biggest thing that stuck out to me,” Rowland said. “Because that kind of confirmed or even validates, like, O.K., maybe in the time here I have done something to help this team, that maybe I do really have potential to coach and help guys get better.”