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 WASHINGTON (AP) -Washington Wizards president Susan O'Malley felt like a misfit when she started pursuing a law degree in her 40s. Little did she know she'd wind up graduating with the daughters of two NBA executives.
Jessica Thorn, Rebecca Grunfeld Hamilton and O'Malley will graduate Sunday from the law school at Georgetown University. Thorn's father is New Jersey Nets president Rod Thorn, and Grunfeld Hamilton is the daughter of Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld.
``It's pretty crazy,'' Grunfeld Hamilton said. ``It's a huge accomplishment, so to be able to do it with people that you share a common bond with makes it even more special.''
It's coincidence that the NBA-connected trio ended up together, although Thorn and Grunfeld Hamilton had previously known each other for a few years. Of course, both were familiar with O'Malley, the marketing whiz who in 1991 became the first female president of an NBA franchise.
``It's funny, she always harps on her age,'' Thorn said. ``But there's a lot of people at Georgetown Law who are older. In one class we were in, there were definitely three or four people older than she was.''
O'Malley, 45, said she sometimes felt a bit out of place, especially when students began discussing a subject such as court-ordered desegregation school busing as if it were ancient history. O'Malley remembers busing firsthand.
``I enjoyed doing something out of my comfort zone,'' O'Malley said. ``People don't do that. I see these celebrities do 'Dancing With the Stars' and they do it because it takes them out of their comfort zone. Not that 'Dancing With The Stars' and law school are the same thing, but it was so out of my comfort zone to return to law school 20 years after I got out of school, and to see how everything had changed.
``I am a misfit. There were days in class that people thought some student brought their mother. I'm proud of my accomplishment, but I'm not going to go to the ceremony. I kind of feel old walking across the stage in a cap and gown.''
Thorn, 27, and Grunfeld Hamilton, 26, have found jobs in the legal profession, although neither has ruled eventually pursuing something NBA-related. O'Malley will remain with the Wizards.
``I'd just been here so long that I felt I should look for ways to grow as an executive, and I thought that a law degree would be useful even if I never practice law,'' O'Malley said. ``Everybody in the league has got one. It makes you a better executive. You have a different thought process.''
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