Warriors' Gary Payton II fulfills promise to mother, earns college degree

GP2 fulfills promise to mother, gifts her Oregon State degree originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Gary Payton II did not forget the promise he made to his mother while attending Oregon State.

The Warriors guard played for the Beavers for two seasons from 2014 to 2015 where he was named to two All-Pac-12 teams, two All-Pac-12 All-Defensive teams and was a two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

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In speaking with The Associated Press' Janie McCauley before Golden State's Game 6 matchup with the Sacramento Kings in the first-round playoff series on Friday at Chase Center, Payton, who just earned his diploma from Oregan State, revealed that he gifted his degree to his mother, who he once promised that he would finish college one day.

"It was really for [mom] ... I made her a promise to get it done and finish when I left school, so keeping my word and got that to her," Payton told McCauley. "Hope you enjoy it, love it and it was for you."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is proud of Payton and any of his players who commit to bettering themselves on and off the court.

"We have a lot of guys who are really committed to the game, but committed to themselves and try to better themselves, do things in the community and try and impact the Bay Area," Kerr told reporters on Friday. "For Gary to get his diploma, for Steph to do that last year, it's all part of that process of continuing to grow and evolve as people. I'm very proud of him."

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Payton followed in Curry's footsteps after the Warriors superstar earned his degree from Davidson College during the Warriors' championship run last May. At this time last year, Payton had one semester left and was eager to join his teammate as a college graduate.

“I congratulated him,” Payton told reporters last year after Curry's graduation. “I’m finishing up my last semester at Oregon State, actually. Will be done in probably the next month or so, so I told him that’s huge. Just a big relief off his shoulders I can imagine.”