Dec. 9, 2004
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech All-America and NBA veteran basketball player John Salley will be one of the featured speakers Saturday at Georgia Tech’s fall commencement exercises, which begin at 9 a.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Clarence Moore and Robert Brooks, two seniors on last year’s Yellow Jacket basketball team which played for the national championship, will participate in commencement and receive their degrees in management from the Institute. All four seniors on Tech’s 2004 Final Four squad will have their degrees as of Saturday. Marvin Lewis and David Nelson finished last May.
The commencement ceremonies are open to the public.
Moore, who came to Tech in 1999, played 103 games in four years and averaged 6.4 points per game. A key member of Tech’s bench during last year’s Final Four run, the Norco, La., native averaged 5.9 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 36 percent from three-point range.
Brooks, who has enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and will join the service on Jan. 11, averaged 2.2 points and 2.6 rebounds over a 111-game career in which he was a key reserve and part-time starter.
Salley, who will address the undergraduate ceremony at 9 a.m., is a twelve-year NBA veteran and the only player in league history to win four championships with three different teams–two with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990, one with the Chicago Bulls in 1996 and one with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000.
As a student at Tech, Salley was an impact player on the Yellow Jackets men’s basketball team from 1982 to 1986, where he was named to All-ACC teams in 1985 and 1986. Just one year shy of graduation, he was chosen as a first-round draft pick on the Detroit Pistons. He returned to Tech in 1987 during the Pistons’ off-season to earn his bachelor’s degree in industrial management in 1988. His no. 22 jersey is retired and hangs in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. He was inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 1991.
After an impressive run with the Pistons from 1986-1992, Salley played in Chicago with Michael Jordan as part of the Bulls championship team. In 1999, Coach Phil Jackson invited Salley to come to Los Angeles to provide experience and leadership to the 1999-2000 Lakers’ championship team.
After his retirement from the NBA in 2000, Salley explored several opportunities in both television and film. He is currently serving as the co-host of the Emmy nominated, critically acclaimed sports talk show, “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” on Fox Sports Net, as a celebrity judge on the TBS reality show “He’s A Lady” and as a host on Nick At Nite’s reality show “Family Face Off.”
Additionally, Salley is head of his own production company, Black Folk Entertainment, using his uncanny ability to find unique and interesting projects. He also is active in the music industry, representing up-and-coming musical groups and acquiring a music library of hip-hop and R&B artists. He is responsible for discovering R&B vocalist and 1996 Grammy winner Tony Rich.
In 1997, Salley started The John Salley Raindrop Foundation, a non-profit corporation that benefits young people in America’s lower income neighborhoods, funding programs for them in art, literature, music, science and sports.