Point guard Golden transfers to Georgia Tech to be closer to home, family

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Trae Golden sat in his room last October, unsure of the next turn his collegiate basketball career would take.The rising senior had left Tennessee in May, deciding to transfer to Georgia Tech in order to stay closer to his ill father and family in nearby Powder Springs, Ga.It was then that an unexpected telephone call came from Yellow Jackets head coach Brian Gregory. The NCAA had granted Golden a waiver for immediate eligibility.A summer filled with uncertainty about his basketball future would finally take a backseat.“I was relieved, it was a long summer,” Golden said. “It was just exciting to finally focus on basketball again.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNearing the end of his first and last season with Georgia Tech (13-16, 4-12 Atlantic Coast) Golden leads the Yellow Jackets in scoring with 12.7 points per game. He’ll take his team into the Carrier Dome against Syracuse on Tuesday night for the second-to-last regular-season game of his career. Golden said being back home, and close to his parents, has helped him have a successful senior season. It’s that same support system that helped push him along in high school.McEachern (Ga.) High School head coach Mike Thompson said players normally wouldn’t stay enrolled in one high school all four years, but Golden stayed loyal to his school because his family urged him to. “Around here, it’s uncommon for a player to stay at one high school,” Thompson said of players like Golden. “He was one of those kids who had the opportunity to do that, but he didn’t. He’s an example that our current players can look up to.”As Golden progressed through high school, his family continued to support him. His parents, Carolyn and Robert Golden, attended every high school game and were influences during his recruiting process.After he transferred from Tennessee, he chose to wear the No. 23 with the Yellow Jackets — the same number he wore at McEachern. “It was great. Everyone was like ‘You love 23,’” Golden said. “All of my family and friends were really excited for me finish my college career back home, where we had so many memories.”Now, Golden’s parents can watch their son in a familiar environment, and Gregory is convinced that the support from the point guard’s loved ones has affected his performance this year.“I think being close to his family and the support from fans has added inspiration in his play,” Gregory said.In less than a year since joining the program, Golden obtained the starting job at the game’s most important position. He stepped in right away, and when the time comes to operate as the primary facilitator, Golden does his job playing within the confines of the position. And while he’s been able to lean on the support of his family, he couldn’t be more appreciative of the way the team has welcomed him home. “I’ve grown closer to a lot of the guys here,” Golden said. “They have opened me with open arms.”When Golden isn’t on the basketball court for Georgia Tech, he dedicates much of his free time to visiting his parents back home, and helps his mother provide nurture to his ailing father.His sister, Ryan Golden, says that along with his commitment to his family, Golden’s greatest strength is his resiliency. “Trae’s one of the hardest workers, if not the hardest worker, that I know,” Ryan Golden said.When the Yellow Jackets tip off with Syracuse, he will witness the celebration of Syracuse’s longest tenured players on Senior Night. Four days later, he will be honored for the same occasion at Hank McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.His family will likely be in attendance, hearing roars of applause from fans that are appreciative of a man who chose to end his college career close to home. And Golden knows where his loyalties will forever lie.Said Golden: “When I look back years from now, I’ll look at Georgia Tech as my institution.” Comments Published on March 4, 2014 at 12:51 amlast_img

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