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HBCU will play a central role in the NBA All-Star Game

Mo Williams played in the 2009 Archelian Conference. In the NBA All-Star Game, he fully understands the magnitude of the event plans.

His team lost that game.

His current team, և many others, must be big winners this time.

All-Star Games in Atlanta on Sunday raised $ 3 million for historic colleges and universities through scholarship donations. But the real value for these schools will far outweigh the cash flow, with almost all the star elements on display to celebrate HBCU traditions and culture.

“It’s all about discovery,” said Williams, who has played 13 NBA seasons and is now his first year coach at the Alabama Southwestern Gymnastics Conference. “Being an All-Star game that focuses on HBCUs, it gives us the opportunity to discover, to help in many different areas, in many different ways, in many different schools.

“It’s no different from Super Bowl commercials. People spend millions of dollars to advertise in the Super Bowl for exposure. And you know, our influence on the NBA All-Star Game this weekend can only help. ”

Those Super Bowl commercials can be 30 seconds long.

This effect will last for several hours and will cover almost all aspects of the NBA inter-season display.

The court was created in collaboration with artists who attended HBCU schools. Famous bands from Grambling State և Florida A & M will perform at the band. The Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society Choir will perform “Raise Every Voice, Sing,” commonly called the National Anthem. Glodis Knight, one of the oldest HBCUs in the nation at Shaw University, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The refereeing staff of Tom Washington, Tony Brown and Courtney Kirkland are all HBCU alumni.

“We are presenting HBCUs here; we are trying to shed light on their ability to dream; one day we will have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps,” Brown said. “So this game is basically about giving people hope and giving them a chance to dream.”

The time to pay tribute to HBCU, Atlanta, the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, J, seems right.

Over the past year, racial injustice has become less of a national issue than at any time of the generation. It saw history. Kamala Harris, Howard’s alumnus, became not only the first woman to be elected vice president, but also the first HBCU alumnus in the White House. Harris is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha, one of the Divine Nine Brotherhood, pairs, groups to which the NBA also pays homage on Sunday.

Last summer, NBA players used their platform during the resumption of league bubbles to speak out against inequality. They were often at the center of the “Lives of Significance” movement in response to the deaths of George’s Floyd, Breona Taylor and many others.

“You can’t talk about life, you can’t talk about history, colleges and universities,” said Charles McClelland, SWAC Commissioner and member of the NCAA Men’s Basketball I Committee. “Many of these student-athletes speak. Many of these professional athletes speak. But the platform was not really great enough for them to spread that message. “It’s just a special time. I think we’re in the right time. I’m amused that it ‘s happening at this point in time – because it’ s been a long time.”

The NBA has only one active player who has attended HBCU. Robert Covington from Portland, who went to Tennessee. He was invited to take part in the Skills Challenge, which will precede Sunday’s game, usually part of the All-Star Game on Saturday night. The events of this year were intensified by the overnight epidemic.

Covington realized the significance of this moment. He could be on vacation. Instead, he went to Atlanta.

“I just want to leave a legacy,” Covington said. “I want to leave my mark, I want to let the children know that anything is possible.”

The message has received a lot of attention in recent months.

Some of the top basketball recruits have said they are considering offers from traditional powers to visit HBCUs. Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has taken over as Acks Exxon football coach, instantly giving the school prestige. And when the first half of the NBA season failed, the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James Ames wore sneakers that paid homage to Florida A&M, a school that simply completed Nike’s six-year deal to play James Ames costume. footwear.

This game will bring more incentives.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund և United Negro College Fund, if not more, will raise a total of $ 3 million. And HBCU will be investing time everywhere on a huge platform, if nothing else.

“To emphasize the importance of HBCUs, it’s a huge surprise,” McClelland said. “It’s not just about money. Exposure will allow students to visit our member institutions, learn about our history, learn about our culture. “What they do for the All-Star game, we could not pay, we could not duplicate.”


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