Campus: CSU Long Beach -- May 24, 2002
Utah Jazz Star Bryon Russell to Graduate from Cal State
Long Beach 9 Years After Leaving University for National Basketball
Former Cal State Long Beach and current Utah Jazz basketball star Bryon
Russell will achieve another goal on Wednesday, May 29, when he walks
with the graduating class of 2002 during the 1 p.m. ceremony for the
university's College of Health and Human Services.
Russell, a native of San Bernardino and graduate of San Bernardino High
School, played four years (1990-93) at CSULB after red-shirting the
1989-90 season. He was selected in the second round of the 1993 NBA
draft by the Utah Jazz, and over the past nine seasons, the 6-foot-7,
225-pound guard/forward has enjoyed great success, averaging 10.8 points
and 4.6 rebounds per game.
When he left the university in 1993 to play in the NBA, Russell was
just three courses shy of completing his bachelor's degree. He recently
served an internship with the South Salt Lake City Police Department
and will have fulfilled the course requirements for his B.A. in criminal
"I was a student before I became a professional athlete,"
said Russell. "The possibility of entering the NBA didn't come
until my senior year at Long Beach. Up until that point, I considered
a career in law. My degree was always important to me and it was something
I needed to complete."
"When a successful professional athlete such as Bryon Russell comes
back years later to complete a degree, well, that says something about
that person and the institution," said President Robert C. Maxson.
"It sends the message that education is important, no matter how
successful you are in other areas of your life and it's the right message
to send. Bryon is a wonderful man, and I am glad to call him my friend."
Russell and his wife, Kimberli, are very heavily involved in their community
through the Bryon Russell Foundation, which helps promote positive change
in the community. Among the local organizations the foundation has sponsored
are Toys for Tots, Rape Recovery Center, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Adoption
Exchange of Utah, Ogden Youth Authority, Boys & Girls Club of Murray
and St. Vincent de Paul.
The Russells have a daughter named Kajun, who turns 7 years old in July,
and twins Brittani and Brandon, who will be 4 years old, also in July.
Kimberli, whose maiden name was Peters while a student at Long Beach,
earned a degree in psychology in 1994 and serves as co-founder and president
of the Bryon Russell Foundation.