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Howard University And Morgan State To Play HBCU Classic At 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend

After featuring HBCU-inspired elements in the arena at the 2021 NBA All-Star game, it’s fitting that the league continues to highlight HBCUs during the NBA All-Star Weekend in 2022.

The NBA shared its plans to support and increase representation for historically Black colleges and universities, announcing that the Howard University and Morgan State men’s basketball teams will play in the inaugural NBA All-Star HBCU Classic during its 2022 All-Star Weekend.

The HBCU Classic, set for Feb. 19 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is part of the NBA’s extended commitment to HBCUs. Along with including HBCUs in All-Star Weekend, the league is starting a new fellowship program for job development through the NBA Foundation.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum expressed the importance of the HBCU partnership, “The NBA family recognizes the storied and prominent role that HBCUs have played in our society for decades,” Tatum said. “We also recognize that within our commitments to increase Black representation across the league and grow the game. We can create educational, athletic, and career opportunities through engagement with these institutions.”

Next year, the program will have students work jobs with the NBA office, WNBA and NBA teams while being matched with a mentor.

“All-Star weekend in Cleveland is going to have the eyes of the basketball world on it,” said Oris Stuart, NBA chief people and inclusion officer. Stuart explained how the opportunity could be the pipeline for HBCUs to be seen by all audiences.

“We are excited about this exposure that is added at an incredible level … that not only highlights the programs that will be performing on Saturday is really going to highlight the HBCU community on a larger scale,” he added. 

The NBA’s efforts don’t stop there. A $1 million dollar donation will be made to Black institutions through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and United Negro College Fund.

Other NBA All-Star Game-related events centering HBCUs include the league’s plans to partner with HBCU alumni and Black entrepreneurs as part of the association’s commitment to onboard more minority-owned businesses as league licensees. The NBA 2K League will host events on HBCU campuses to set in motion career opportunities in gaming and e-sports for students pursuing careers in the expanding industry.

Howard University is incredibly proud to take part in the HBCU All-Star Classic during this year’s NBA All-Star,” said HU athletic director Kery Davis. “The NBA and HBCUs are natural partners because of our rich legacy elevating under-represented communities and our shared passion for cultivating opportunities for people of color. We appreciate the NBA’s commitment to supporting our institutions, and we are excited to showcase the on- and off-the-court talent and excellence that has come to define student-athletes from the MEAC and HBCUs.”

Morgan State‘s athletic director Ed Scott also applauded the league.

“The NBA should be commended for the foresight and willingness to address important issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Scott said. “The creation of the NBA All-Star HBCU Classic is a clear demonstration of the NBA’s commitment to promoting HBCUs and showcasing the talented young men and women on our campuses.”

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