Donnie Jones on Hand as Isaiah Sykes Graduates

Aug. 2, 2014

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By Dan Forcella

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – Former UCF Men’s Basketball star Isaiah Sykes received his degree Saturday morning and head coach Donnie Jones was on hand to celebrate his former all-conference guard’s big moment.

“I’m really proud of Isaiah,” Jones said. “We came in together as he was one of my first recruits. To know how far he’s come since his freshman season is very rewarding.

“This is a great day for him and his family,” Jones continued. “He’s the first to graduate from college in his family. And it’s also a great day for UCF Basketball. Any time we have a great person, a great player, and a great student graduate, it’s a win.”

Sykes, who majored in interdisciplinary studies and minored in coaching, joins teammate Tristan Spurlock as UCF graduates this summer. Jones was on hand for Spurlock’s commencement this past May.

Related: Tristan Spurlock - The Graduate

This continues the excellent performance by Jones’ Knights in the classroom as of late.  UCF Men’s Basketball reported its highest Academic Progress Rate scores this off-season.  The Knights had a single year perfect score of 1000 for the first time, while also reporting their highest multi-year score since the program began in 2004.

Related: Men's Hoops Earns High APR Scores

Following graduation on Saturday Sykes will begin to make decisions about his future. The 6-foot-6 guard worked out for many NBA teams this summer, but will likely take advantage of the multitude of opportunities he will have overseas. 

“Everybody’s going to have a different path to get where they want to get to,” Jones said of Sykes’ future plans. “Isaiah has been an overachiever and an overcomer of all obstacles he’s faced. He will have a lot of good opportunities to go overseas and play very good basketball.”

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