by Barca Blog (Photo by John Russell)
It was an emotional day for Jermaine Beal on Saturday.
Even after the stunning loss to South Carolina in his final home game, Beal was classy enough to meet with the media to field questions about the Commodores' letdown. After the press conference, he went back out to the court to sign autographs for a bunch of wide-eyed youngsters.
Beal could have blown it all off, but that's not his style.
"He's really a poster child for what a college athlete should look like," head coach Kevin Stallings said. "He stuck around for four years and will graduate in May. He's never been in trouble. He's just always been a good, honest, hard-working guy that wanted to get better and be better and he's done that."
While the crowd gave the DeSoto, Texas, native a rousing ovation during the postgame senior day ceremony, Beal remembered to return the favor.
"I'm thankful for everybody who always supported me from the players to the coaching staff," Beal said. "Thank you to the whole Nashville community for always having my back. I can't say thank you enough."
And for those fans still reeling from the defeat to the Gamecocks, Beal doesn't want you to lose faith just yet.
"Of course it's your last home game and you want to win it, but Derrick Byars lost his and went to the Sweet Sixteen. Our team has a lot more left in us and we just have to refocus, bounce back, and look ahead."