The NBA announced Thursday that the Morgan State men’s basketball team will face Howard University in the first NBA HBCU Classic during the league’s All-Star weekend Feb. 18-20 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland.
The NBA also announced that it is furthering its partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities by offering a paid fellowship program led by the NBA Foundation for undergraduate and graduate students from HBCUs to work in positions at the league office and NBA and WNBA teams. Those students will be paired with league or team employees, who will mentor them during their experiences.
“As an association, the NBA should be commended for the foresight and willingness to address important issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion,” Morgan State athletic director Edward 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.”
The NBA pledged to provide more information on additional educational, athletic and career opportunities throughout the NBA community at a later time.
During All-Star weekend, more than $1 million will be contributed in support to the HBCU community through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and academic institutions.
“The NBA family recognizes the storied and prominent role that HBCUs have played in our society for decades. 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,” NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum said. “Through continued collaboration with partners like TMCF and UNCF, our teams and members of the HBCU community, we look forward to expanding support of students and alumni in meaningful ways.”