In recognition of Black History Month, NBA TV televised four HBCU basketball games that featured Florida A&M University (FAMU), Grambling State University (GSU) and Texas Southern University (TSU). This live coverage of the NCAA Division I men and women’s basketball games was presented by Under Armour.
The showdown kicked off on Saturday, Feb. 5 with TSU at FAMU, with both TSU’s men and women’s basketball team taking home wins.
Despite of the loss, FAMU is still proud to have received recognition and acknowledge that this is only the beginning of consistent representation of HBCUs in the media.
“HBCUs are on the rise and they are beginning to gain recognition in the media, but it is definitely a process,” said Dylan Horton, guard for FAMU women’s basketball team.
To further propel HBCU media representation, Coppin State University alumna and sports broadcaster, Stephanie Ready, led the studio coverage for TSU at FAMU. Additionally, Hampton University alumnus, Rick Mahorn, provided commentary for GSU at TSU.
From fashion to hair to latest trends, it is evident that Black culture makes the world go round. We can not forget about exceptionally talented HBCU athletes making it count on the court. The NBA and its teams took that challenge this year by launching a new paid fellowship for undergraduate and graduate HBCU students, in partnership with The Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Aside from airing HBCU basketball games and providing exposure to athletes, the NBA is investing in HBCUs by establishing the fellowship and donating $200,000 to both Howard University and Morgan State University in honor of the first ever HBCU Classic during All-Star weekend.
“When we think about the economic futures of Black youth, we know it’s about resources and we know it’s about opportunity,” said Greg Taylor, executive director of the NBA Foundation. “We view the fellowship as a natural extension from our commitment around preparing and educating and exposing talented Black students…to the career opportunities that exist in professional sports.”
The fellowship will welcome more than 50 fellows from HBCUs this summer who will either be placed in the NBA central office in the New York-New Jersey area or with a specific NBA team’s office.
According to Taylor, the salary is competitive.
Copy edited by Lauryn Wilson