SWAC members Grambling State and Southern have been invited to play in the second NBA HBCU Classic at this season’s All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City.
The Feb. 18 game, which will precede All-Star Saturday night’s lineup featuring the NBA’s dunk contest, 3-point shootout and skills competition, will be shown on TNT, ESPN2 and NBA TV.
“Grambling State is an iconic name brand,” said Trayvean Scott, the school’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics. “We knew when this opportunity was presented to us, it was the right decision to not only bring SWAC basketball to the NBA All-Star, but to continue to bring awareness and increased support to HBCU athletics.”
Last season’s inaugural game in Cleveland between Howard and Morgan State netted both schools $100,000 donations. Over the last two All-Star weekends, about $4 million has been raised to support students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and scholarship funds such as the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and United Negro College Fund.
This past summer, 60 students participated in the league’s inaugural NBA HBCU Fellowship program, which provides career development opportunities in the business of basketball for undergraduate and graduate students.
“My pathway from Southern to the NBA has opened countless doors for me,” NBA legend Bob Love said. He’s a Southern alum and, along with Grambling State’s Willis Reed, is one of the honorary captains for this year’s game. “I am proud to support the NBA in using the game of basketball to celebrate the rich history of HBCUs and drive opportunity for the next generation of leaders both on and off the court.”
The game will be played at the University of Utah. Grambling will be the home team. The teams also play at Southern on Jan. 14.