At the center of the Black Lives Matter movement, NBA players often used their platform to speak out against inequality in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more.
“You can’t talk about Black Lives Matter and not talk about the Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Charles McClelland, the commissioner of the SWAC and a member of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee.
“A lot of these student-athletes have been talking. A lot of these professional athletes have been talking. But the platform really wasn’t that great for them to be able to extend that message. This is just in a unique time, and I think we’re at the right time, and I’m ecstatic that it’s happening at this point in time — because it’s so long overdue.”
What to expect from HBCUs on All-Star Game Night
- Expect to see the court designed in collaboration with current and alumnus HBCU artists.
- The famed bands from Grambling State and Florida A&M will perform during the player introductions.
- Clark Atlanta University’s Philharmonic Society Choir will perform the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
- A tribute to the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities.
- Gladys Knight, a graduate of one of the nation’s oldest HBCUs in Shaw University, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
- The refereeing crew of Tom Washington, Tony Brown, and Courtney Kirkland all are HBCU graduates.
“We are here representing HBCUs and trying to shed light on their ability to dream and one day has the opportunity to follow in our footsteps,” said Clark Atlanta alumnus and NBA referee Tony Brown. “So, this game is mainly about giving people hope and allowing them an opportunity to dream.”
Tune in to show your support to all HBCUs during the NBA All Star Game in one night on TNT for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and MTN DEW 3-Point Contest at 6:30 p.m. (ET), the All-Star Game at 8:00 p.m. (ET), and the AT&T Slam Dunk showcase at halftime.