basketball-men-d1 flag

Anthony Chiusano | NCAA.com | May 19, 2017

WATCH: Rick Barnes watches T.J. Ford graduate from Texas

Fourteen years after last stepping onto the Frank Erwin Center court as a Texas basketball player, T.J. Ford returned to Austin on Friday to pick up his degree as part of the graduating class of 2017.

Ford was a standout Longhorn for two seasons (2001-03) and was a winner of both the Wooden Award and Naismith Award in 2003. He then declared early for the NBA draft and was the eighth overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. The point guard, now 34 years old, played eight seasons in the NBA. 

Ford returned to the university about two years ago to start working toward completing his degree, following the abrupt end to his NBA career due to a neck injury. He walked at Friday's graduation, earning a degree in applied learning and development: youth and community studies with a minor in educational psychology.

Adding to the special moment, Ford's former coach at Texas, Rick Barnes, attended the ceremony and shared some heartfelt time with Ford. Barnes said Ford called him about a month ago and that he promised to be in attendance Friday. Thanks to Chris Tavarez at KXAN, here's the amazing exhange between the duo:

"I'm so happy for him. Proud is an understatement, but he deserves it more than anybody," said Barnes, now head coach at Tennessee.

 

The 25 NCAA baseball champions who went undefeated in College World Series play

Nine schools have gone undefeated in Omaha en route to winning the College World Series since a format change in 1999. Here's the full group of 25 since the CWS started in 1947.
READ MORE

Here are the college baseball coaches with the most College World Series victories

Here's a look at the 12 coaches who have the most wins in the College World Series.
READ MORE

College baseball: 7 states with most College World Series trips and titles

The ultimate prize for any Division I baseball program is to see your season end in Omaha. But which states can boast the highest numbers of programs to reach the College World Series or win national championships?
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners