The NBA has announced that Grambling State University and Southern University Men’s basketball teams will play in the second NBA HBCU Classic in 2023.
According to the press release, NBA legends Bob Love (Southern alum) and Willis Reed (Grambling State alum) will represent their alma maters and have been named honorary captains of the 2023 NBA HBCU Classic.
Both Love and Reed credited their time at HBCUs for their success in the NBA and as men.
“My pathway from Southern to the NBA has opened countless doors for me,” said Love. “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.”
“I credit my career in part to my time at Grambling State,” said Reed. “The HBCU Classic will provide what is to most a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play on the NBA stage and serve as a platform for those interested in the business side of the game to gain industry insight and make lasting connections.”
Earlier this year, the NBA hosted its inaugural HBCU Classic as part of NBA All-Star 2022 in Cleveland featuring Howard University taking on Morgan State University. Both schools received donations of $100,000 and 11 HBCU students were selected as paid NBA interns in several positions across the league through the HBCU Event Shadow program. So far, more than $1 million has been raised to support the HBCUs through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and academic institutions during All-Star Weekend.
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 from HBCUs.”
Roman Banks, Southern Director of Athletics, lauded the NBA for their oncoming commitment to HBCUs.
"I am very excited for our student-athletes, fans, supporters, and alumni that we will take part in the second NBA HBCU Classic during NBA All-Star,” Banks said. "This allows Southern University’s brand to be showcased globally and we appreciate the NBA's commitment to supporting our HBCU institutions. We are excited for everyone to see one of the great and historic rivalries between Grambling State and Southern University and to showcase the excellence and talent that has come to define student-athletes from the SWAC and HBCUs."
“We are extremely excited and honored to represent Grambling State University at the NBA HBCU Classic," said Grambling Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Trayvean Scott added. "Grambling State is an iconic name brand. 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."
Tickets for the NBA HBCU Classic 2023 will go on sale in December.
For more information on the NBA HBCU Classic and NBA All-Star Weekend, visit here.