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HBCUs take center stage for NBA’s new event

HBCUs take center stage for NBA’s new event

  • Cavaliers
Feb 17
SW Creative
  • SportsWriters

Sat, Feb 19 at 2 p.m. at Wolstein Center, Cleveland, Ohio

The Morgan State Bears will play the Howard Bison this Saturday in the inaugural NBA HBCU Classic in the league’s efforts to provide more exposure for historically Black colleges and universities.

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On this Saturday’s All-Star stage, some of the sports’ best of the best have reserved their spots to show off their skills and share the fun with corporate partners.

In the same event, a game between Morgan State and Howard is expected to provide exposure for players as Saturday’s event also has the potential to attract the eyes of NBA scouts for potential recruits from HBCU. Especially for both Morgan State and Howard.

“There are a lot of guys who have played at HBCUs before this that have made it to the NBA and the league is helping open that eye back up and giving guys hope that they have a chance to play at that level,” Morgan State coach Kevin Broadus said. “They’re saying, ‘We’ll bring you on our stage and show you what it’s all about,’ and, hopefully, some of these guys will get looks.”

Both NBA and NBPA have donated $3 million to the HBCU, providing academic scholarships, advancement initiatives, and several additional programs last year. Funding is expected to increase this year with TNT and ESPN broadcasting the game for better reach from the Cleveland State’s campus.

The league has planned out a wide range of programs and initiatives for this year, from the HBCU fellowship program, workshops with league executives, and others for networking purposes and mentorship opportunities.

“We hire lawyers. We hire technology leaders. We hire creatives. We hire communication professionals,” the executive director of the NBA Foundation Greg Taylor said. “So the off-the-court education and career development programming is meant to expose the student-athletes to what it takes to obtain one of those employment or career tracks.”

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