Cruising through the season thus far, the Howard Men’s Basketball team holds a four-game win streak after defeating the Norfolk State Spartans, Morehouse College Maroon Tigers, Morgan State Bears and the Coppin State Eagles.
The Howard Bison traveled to Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday Jan. 14 for a crucial Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) game against the Norfolk State University Spartans. Mar. 3, 2022 was the last time these two teams faced off as the Spartans defeated the Bison with a final score of 83-61 last season. However, this season, the Bison defeated the defending MEAC champions ending their 19-home game winning streak.
Sophomore guard Marcus Dockery led the Bison to this victory with a game-high 24pts as sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins and graduate student guard Jelani Williams closed out the game executing two clutch free throws. This created a huge upset in Echols Memorial Hall putting the Bison at 2-1 in the MEAC conference standings. The Bison had major confidence leaving Norfolk, Virginia, according to sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins and they were ready to take on Morehouse College for the annual MLK Hoops Classic.
The MLK Hoops Classic was an exciting and cheerful event for all Bison and the Washington, D.C. community. Burr Gymnasium was full of spirit, love, and celebration not just for the sport of basketball but for Martin Luther King Jr. and continuing his legacy of work. The Washington Wizards and the Golden State Warriors played an exciting game at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. on the same day. After the game, Warriors and Wizards staffers and players were able to visit Howard University and attend the MLK Day Hoops Classic. They interacted with students, fans, Howard athletes, as well as the D.C. community.
Golden State Warriors Andre Iguodala, Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, Donte DiVincenzo, Moses Moody, and Jonathan Kuminga were in attendance as well as Wizards player Johnny Davis. When asked by The Hilltop on how it felt to have the presence of NBA players, sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins responded by saying, “I feel like that’s good for our school and it’s a good look for us. I feel like for them to come is a blessing.”
During the game, the Warriors and the Wizards announced that they were able to join forces offering two mothers who attend Howard, NaKeisha Rawlings and Aniya Majors-Rivera $7,500 scholarships. Sophomore Ayanna Smith shared some insights with The Hilltop on her favorite part of the MLK Hoops Classic. She said, “One of my favorite parts and something I’ll definitely remember was the scholarships they gave away to those girls. It was such a sweet and genuine moment.”
The Howard Bison defeated the Morehouse Maroon Tigers establishing their winning streak with sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins leading his team to victory. Hawkins led five players in double figures as he was able to execute a team-high of 15pts with a final game score of 89-65. When asked by The Hilltop how it felt to win a game on such a historic day, sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins responded by saying, “It means a lot. Playing on Martin Luther King Day is a blessing to begin with, so for us to win by a big margin it means a lot.”
NBA players Andre Igudala and Johnny Davis spoke after the game with students and spectators for the sports & culture panel. This panel was hosted by Andscape’s senior NBA writer, Marc Spears. Morehouse Alumnus and Chase Center Legal Officer, David Kelly, shared some insights at the panel as well.
Kelly told NBA.com about how it felt to be involved in the support of HBCUs. He said, “It was extremely gratifying to work with an organization such as the Warriors, which has strived to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
This win was very prominent for the Bison on such a historic day but more accomplishments were heading the Bison way. On Saturday, Jan. 21 at Burr Gymnasium, gameday was finally in progress.
Junior forward Jordan Wood led the Bison to this victory executing a game-high of 15 points. Freshman forward Shy Odom, graduate student forward Kobe Dickson, and sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins made major game contributions as well as they were easily making their way up and down court scoring points. The final score of the Bison victory was 88-56. The Bison at this time had won three games in a row with nothing and nobody being able to stop them.
The Coppin State Eagles tried to stop the Bison only to end the night with the Bison improving their record 4 -1 in the MEAC. Four Bison were able to lead this team to victory ending the night with double digits. Sophomore guard Marcus Dockery and Redshirt junior Steve Settle III both had a game-high of 14pts, sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins ended with 13pts, and sophomore guard Byrce Harris ended with 11 points.
Elijah Hawkins was able to share in his closing statements with The Hilltop a message that has been encouraging the Bison so far this season. Hawkins said, “He just told us ‘to get a return on investment’ which means all the work that we put in we gotta show it out on the court and not take it for granted.”
Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee