Feb. 7, 2017
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech senior men’s basketball player Rand Rowland has been named to the 2017 Allstate NABC Good Works Team® by the Allstate Insurance Company® and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the organizations announced Tuesday.
Of the 181 nominees from colleges and universities across the country, Rowland is among 10 remarkable student-athletes named to the team for the positive impact he’s had on the community and the lives of others. In addition to dedicating countless hours to their studies and athletics, the members of this year’s team have spent their limited free time bettering communities all over the world and demonstrating a strong commitment to improving the lives of others.
Since 2013, members of the Allstate NABC Good Works Team® have given back to the host cities of the NCAA® Final Fours® through a community service initiative and monetary donation. This year, members of the Allstate NABC Good Works Team® will be invited by Allstate to be recognized at the 2017 NABC Convention and 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four® and will participate in a community service project to benefit Phoenix.
Georgia Tech is the only Division I institution to have a football player and a men’s basketball player on the Allstate NABC Good Works Team®. The Yellow Jackets’ defensive lineman, KeShun Freeman, made the football team in the fall.
Rowland is a 6-7 senior forward from Cleveland, Ga., who joined the Yellow Jacket program as a non-scholarship player in the fall of 2014 and was put on scholarship this season. During his time at Tech, he has added value not only to his team, but to the bigger student-athlete population at Georgia Tech through his volunteer efforts.
“It’s very humbling to know that I’m one of only 10 student-athletes in this group,” said Rowland. “I’m also grateful for the people around me at Georgia Tech. My parents always taught me to do the right thing to help others, but having people like Leah Thomas (director of Tech’s Total Person Program) and Mario West (basketball director of player personnel) help provide us the opportunities to do that and fit it into our schedules. And to be able to do these things with other student-athletes is awesome and the way it should be.”
Rowland comes by his desire to help others honestly, he and his family having been on the receiving end of some community support during his youth living in North Carolina. He became involved in service activities then and through his church and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes during his high school days in Cleveland, Ga.
“Probably the first thing I ever became involved with was when I was little living in North Carolina,” said Rowland. “My mom would take us to the Food Bank where we would sort through food that was donated so it could be given out to hungry families. There was a time when we had to get food from the Food Bank, so we went back and helped them sort the food for others. We never missed a meal, but we were at a point where friends from church would help us out with groceries or bills. We never went without, but I know I wouldn’t be here today because other people helped my family. It makes me want to help other people whenever I can.”
By his sophomore year at Tech, Rowland joined Tech’s student-athlete advisory board (SAAB). The summer before his first year serving on this board, he volunteered to attend the Atlantic Coast Conference In-Person SAAB meeting in Greensboro, N.C., even though he hadn’t even attended his first Tech SAAB meeting.
He stepped up as a leader on this board and was a co-founder and chair of its Peer-to-Peer Mentor program. Through this program, he has been able to match freshmen student-athletes with upperclass mentors, to help with the freshmen have a smoother transition into college. He also was involved in training the mentors and ensuring that they were equipped to serve in this role.
He went back to Greensboro last summer to attend his second ACC In-Person SAAB meeting and from both experiences, has brought a couple of initiatives back to Georgia Tech to implement, because he saw the need and the potential impact that these initiatives could have on his peers. As a result of Rowland’s involvement, Tech has become a member of the “One Love Foundation,” a program resulting from the unfortunate death of Yeardley Love, the UVA Lacrosse player that was murdered by her boyfriend several years ago. This is the second year that all freshmen GT student-athletes have participated in “Escalation,” a workshop designed to educate and raise awareness about relationship violence, specifically in college students.
Another initiative that Rowland brought back from the meeting in Greensboro and is currently working on implementing on campus is Project Life Movement. This is a national movement to increase the potential pool of bone marrow and tissue donors by testing and registering college students with a simple cheek swab. He is planning an event on campus this year to get his peers registered to be donors.
In addition to his work as a leader through SAAB, Rowland has spent some of his free time involved in volunteer projects through the city of Atlanta and Georgia Tech. He has been involved in the annual Michael Isenhour Toy Drive, an athletics department-wide annual toy/money drive that was named in honor of a former Tech men’s basketball player who started this drive in response to the September 11th attacks, but later lost his life to leukemia. He has helped with the toy collection each holiday season and then the delivery of the toys and money raised to the Atlanta Children’s Shelter.
He has also represented men’s basketball in the campus-wide “Tech Beautification Day,” where students all across campus are involved in various clean-up projects to help beautify its urban campus.
Rowland has also volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House, serving dinner to families staying there while their children are at the nearby Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospital. He volunteered at the Girls on the Run Spring 5K that runs through the Tech campus, and was able to get his teammates out to help as well.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.
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