April 19, 2022
Malana Joseph Mitchell
Inaugural HBCU All-Star Game Carries Success of 2022 Event Into Future Years
First-ever celebration of the Best in Black College Basketball during Final Four Weekend looks ahead to 2023 after a successful start
NEW ORLEANS – With a raucous group of basketball fans watching inside the UNO Lakefront Arena and many more watching at home live on CBS, the inaugural HBCU All-Star Game on Sunday, April 3 honored its mission of showcasing the best in Black college basketball after a full week of premier events leading up to the game.
With a GOD-driven vision launched in 2019 after dealing with the pandemic for the past few years, HBCU All-Stars, LLC Founder and CEO Travis L. Williams’ dream finally came to fruition during the Final Four around college basketball’s biggest weekend in New Orleans. With a full slate of amazing events, a national CBS television production and backed by a list of outstanding corporate sponsors and brands, the HBCU All-Star Game exceeded expectations with a thrilling game that came down to the final minutes with Team John McLendon winning 79-75 over Team Clarence “Big House” Gaines.
“From our relationship with CBS Sports to the initial announcement and selection of the top 24 players in Black College basketball, we made it very clear and intentional to the HBCU All-Stars prior to their arrival, and in numerous team meetings the historical significance of the first ever HBCU All-Star Game during the Final Four weekend in New Orleans. They bought in from the
very beginning when their names were announced and committed to taking this game seriously, ensuring that the fans and anyone watching knew that these players and coaches were there to compete from the very start. Our very talented, hard-working, deserving, and ambitious players knew their assignments and what it meant for our HBCU culture. They will always be remembered for setting the foundation for this historic All-Star Game and movement. They
really competed at the highest level and represented their distinguished HBCU careers in a first class manner on and off the court leading up to the game.”
Throughout their stay in New Orleans, the teams had access to high-level coaching and player skill development, held their own combine for NBA, G-League, and International professional scouts, attended the national semifinal games and also took part in community service events at Kingsley House and participated in a social justice panel featuring Civil Rights attorneys Ben Crump & Mawuli Davis, Rainbow Push, Transformative Justice Coalition, Black Voters Matter, SCLC, and A.B.I.S. It all came together in the game tipping off that Sunday with a host of volunteers and staff helping both on the court and behind the scenes.
“Putting on a game like this is a total team effort and that’s why I am so grateful to our entire HBCU All-Stars staff, CBS Sports, UNO Lakefront Arena staff, vendors, consultants, and all the volunteers and local organizers who helped get things running both before, during and after the game. I want to send a very special thanks to every Historically Black College & University Conference for sending their players to this historic event,” Williams said.
Thanks to the support of incredible sponsors, the HBCU All-Star LLC organization was able to put on a first-class event for the players and coaches from the start, while also helping raise thousands of dollars in scholarships for each of the four prestigious conferences represented in the game, as well as the organization itself.
“Without question, the HBCU All-Star Game would not exist without the incredible and unwavering support of CBS Sports and our sponsors. I am truly grateful for them,” Williams said. “They recognized our vision for what we wanted this game to be, and what this game means within the fabric of our society. Thanks to them, we’ve created something that will only get better for years to come.”
The 2023 HBCU All-Star Game will be held in Houston, Texas.
To learn more about the HBCU All-Star Game and upcoming ancillary events visit hbcuallstargame.com and follow @hbcuallstargame.
About HBCU All-Stars, LLC
HBCU All-Stars, LLC is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and was founded in 2019 with the mission to advocate, educate, expose, mentor and invest in hardworking, talented, ambitious student-athletes and brilliant coaches at our distinguished Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Along with its mission the company also launched the first-ever HBCU All-Star Game and ancillary experiences and events surrounding the historical endeavor during the Final Four Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament.