HBCU All-Star Game Set to Make History in 2nd Year
By Nathan A. Monteith
April 1, 2023
Houston, Texas – Houston will not only be home to the NCAA Final Four this weekend but also for the HBCU All-Star game. The HBCU All-Star game will be aired live on CBS Sports on Sunday, April 2 at 3 pm CT.
The two teams, Team Willis Reed and Team Dr. Dick Barnett pay tribute to two of the top HBCU basketball players of all time and will consist of the top senior players from several of the country’s top HBCU programs.
Team Willis Reed is coached by Virginia Union head coach Jay Butler and Grambling State head coach Donte’ Jackson. Team Reed is comprised of members of the SWAC and CIAA conferences.
Team Willis Reed is represented by:
Cameron Christian – Grambling State (SWAC)
Shawndarius Cowart – Grambling State (SWAC)
Brion Whitley – Southern University (SWAC)
Jordan Karl Nicholas – Texas Southern (SWAC)
John Walker III – Texas Southern (SWAC)
Shaun Doss Jr – Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)
Marcus Garrett – Bethune-Cookman (SWAC)
Dontrell McQuarter – Alcorn State (SWAC)
Will Douglas – Prairie View A&M (SWAC)
Terry Collins – Mississippi Valley State (SWAC)
Robert Osborne – Virginia Union (CIAA)
Korey Williams – Lincoln (CIAA)
Team Dr. Dick Barnett is coached by Howard head coach Kenneth Blakeney and Tuskegee head coach Benjy Taylor. Team Barnett is
comprised of members of the MEAC, CAA, OVC, and SIAC conferences.
Team Dr. Dick Barnett is represented by:
Joe Bryant Jr. – Norfolk State (MEAC)
Kris Bankston – Norfolk State (MEAC)
Isaiah Burke – Morgan State (MEAC)
Brendan Medley-Bacon – North Carolina Central (MEAC)
Sam Sessom – Coppin State (MEAC)
Nathanial Pollard Jr. – University of Maryland Eastern Shore (MEAC)
Demetric Horton – North Carolina A&T State (CAA)
Marquis Godwin – Hampton (CAA)
JR Clay – Tennessee State (OVC)
Gregg Boyd – Tuskegee (SIAC)
Kerry Richardson – Morehouse (SIAC)
Eleik Bowles – Savannah State (SIAC)
Coach Kenneth Blakeney talked about the significance of being a coach of the HBCU All-Star Game,
“It is truly an authentic pride I have being the coach at Howard and representing our university … we are all here to celebrate black culture and celebrate HBCUs and put on a great show in front of the world tomorrow.”
Prior to Sunday’s game, Howard coach Kenneth Blakeney was honored with the Ben Jobe NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year Award and Virginia Union coach Jay Butler with the Jerry Johnson NCAA Division 2 Coach of the Year Award. Norfolk State guard Joe Bryant Jr. was selected as the Bob Love NCAA Division 1 National Player of the Year and Virginia Union forward Robert Osborne was awarded the Bob Dandridge NCAA Division 2 National Player of the Year Award.
Coach Jay Butler believes Team Willis Reed has an upper hand on Team Dick Barnett due to their size down low.
“They got a bunch of guards that can put it in the basket … but we got the big guys on the SWAC and the CIAA and I think we can pound it inside and have our way with them inside.”
Although both teams consist of some of the best HBCU players and basketball players in the country, both coaches acknowledge that two of the players to watch are the MEAC Player of the Year and Bob Love NCAA Division 1 National Player of the Year, Norfolk State guard Joe Bryant Jr. and CIAA Player of the Year and Bob Dandridge NCAA Divison 2 Player of the Year, Virginia Union guard Robert Osborne. Kenneth Blakeney believes Coppin State guard Sam Sessom could turn some heads with his “ability to make any shot, from any angle, anywhere on the floor.”
HBCU All Stars CEO Travis Williams looks to build on the success from last year’s success in New Orleans and plans to “make history” this time around.
The game will take place at Texas Southern University’s H&PE Arena on Sunday, April 2nd at 3 PM CT and air live on CBS Sports.
Doors open at 2 PM and the Fan Fest will take place from 10 AM – 2:30 PM on the campus of Texas Southern University.
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, and very deserving students, student-athletes and brilliant coaches at our distinguished Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Along with its mission in April 2022 the company also launched the first-ever HBCU All-Star Game and ancillary experiences and events surrounding the historical endeavor in New Orleans.