Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The Hilltop

SPORTS

Washington Wizards host HBCU and Divine 9 Night

Washington Wizards celebrated Black History Month with their annual HBCU and Divine 9 night and featured the Howard student who won the 2024 HBCU Battle of the DJs.

Kicking off Black History Month, the Wizards hosted a night of celebration honoring HBCUs and the Divine 9. (Photo courtesy Jacob Hanesworth/The Hilltop)

On Feb. 10, the Washington Wizards hosted their annual HBCU and Divine 9 night in celebration of Black History Month presented by Stackwell Capital. 

The night would put a spotlight on HBCUs and D9 organizations across the nation during the Washington Wizards versus Philadelphia 76ers matchup. 

Before tip-off, Howard University student DJ Dream Marie was honored as the 2024 HBCU Battle of the DJs winner. With this award, she got the opportunity to DJ during pregame warmups.

She was ecstatic to get the chance to perform her craft on such a big stage, especially with her reaching this feat relatively early in her career as a DJ.

DJ Dream Marie at Capital One Arena performing at the pregame warmups. (Photo courtesy of DJ Dream Marie)

“It was honestly a surreal feeling; a year ago, I just started DJing because I had a love for music and an interest for it, but I never knew I would get to perform on a big stage so soon,” she said. “Howard has given me the platform to be able to even do something like this, so to be able to represent the place that put me where I am was an amazing feeling.”

Wizards rookie guard Bilal Couibaly would be spotlighted as well before the game for being selected to the 2024 Panini Rising Stars roster as a part of this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis.

During halftime, Divine 9 organizations including the Howard University National Panhellenic Council performed for the crowd. Zora Allison, a Spring 2023 initiate of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Alpha Chapter was honored to be able to represent the legacy of her organization in front of a sold-out Capital One Arena.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Alpha Chapter performing during halftime. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Hanesworth/The Hilltop)

“It feels amazing to continue the legacy that our five founders started in 1920 and to show young people who might not have ever had the opportunity to see what a Divine Nine organization is,” Allison said. “There’s a power in knowing who you are and where you come from, so it’s beautiful to give that opportunity to people.”

As far as the on-court matchup, the Wizards fell to the 76ers with a final score of 119-113. 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey returned to the lineup after missing their previous game against the Atlanta Hawks with an illness and poured in 28 points, seven assists and nine rebounds. 

Jordan Poole #13 and Buddy Hield #17 fight for the jump ball. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Hanesworth/The Hilltop)

Wizards forward Deni Avdija contributed 21 points, five assists, and 13 rebounds. Despite the loss, Brian Keefe, interim head coach of the Wizards, has been happy with Avdija’s overall play and growth through tough stints this season.

“Deni has shown tremendous growth here in the last seven, six, eight games,” he said. ”He had a big game on the boards tonight, and we have him guarding multiple guys. He’s playmaking and attacking. I’m trusting him to make decisions with the ball and attack the rim, and I like that his rebounding has been high the last few games… that’s what we need from him.”

It’s become a growing and celebrated tradition to see the Wizards pay tribute to HBCUs and the Divine 9 each year, and the tradition seems primed to keep on. The Wizards will resume play on Feb. 12 when they begin a 4-game road trip against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

Advertisement

You May Also Like