AT&T to serve as presenting partner of NBA HBCU Classic for second year
NEW YORK – AT&T will be the presenting partner of the NBA HBCU Classic for the second year, the NBA today announced. Together the NBA and AT&T will donate $100,000 to Classic opponents Grambling State University and Southern University for a total of $200,000 to support academic resources, athletics and wellness services as part of their respective ongoing commitments to students, faculty and alumni of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Google and Adidas will serve as associate partners of the game. Throughout NBA All-Star 2023, the NBA will continue its ongoing commitment to HBCUs with more than $1 million contributed to organizations that provide scholarships, economic empowerment and career development opportunities to HBCU students and institutions.
“AT&T is excited to be back for our second year as a presenting partner for the NBA HBCU Classic,” said Michelle Jordan, chief diversity officer, AT&T. “The education and experience provided at HBCUs is a valuable part of Black culture, and these schools produce some of the smartest young minds in our country, who eventually become leaders of companies like AT&T. We’re honored to be part of an entire weekend dedicated to celebrating and uplifting HBCU students to support their education and athletic aspirations, helping them reach greater possibilities.”
Coverage of the Bayou rivalry will begin at 4:00 p.m. ET on TNT, ESPN2, NBA TV with play-by-play from Stephanie Ready (Coppin State University alumna) alongside analysts Grant Hill and Monica McNutt, sideline reporter Taylor Rooks and special contributor Siera Jones. Jones is a recent graduate of Norfolk State University and will contribute to the broadcast as part of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ Oscar Pope Lift Every Voice Fellowship. SiriusXM NBA Radio will also carry an original broadcast of the game featuring play-by-play announcer Paul Jones, analyst and NBA Legend Eddie Johnson and Amin Elhassan from the sideline.
Prior to tipoff, the Bonner Family, will sing the U.S. national anthem and the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice.”
Also new in 2023 will be a pep rally hosted at Google’s Pixel Playground on Friday, Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m. MT. Both the Southern University Human Jukebox and the World Famed Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band will perform to get fans excited for the Classic. The NBA and Google will host a pregame fan fest ahead of the game on Saturday from 11-1 p.m. MT, also at Pixel Playground. Pixel Playground is Google’s immersive experience bringing streetball culture to NBA All-Star 2023, centered by a pick-up basketball court and fan-focused pop-up activations open to the public starting at 12 p.m. MT, Friday through Sunday at Sky SLC.
New this year, the NBA, Grambling State and Southern partnered with Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, an HBCU with the mission to provide pathways to break into the product design and creation industry, to add official NCAA basketball court markings on the NBA All-Star court in the University of Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Center with art that reflects each school and Salt Lake City. Designers from Pensole Lewis also worked with apparel partners to create new HBCU Classic warm-up shirts for the student-athletes to wear on gameday.
As part of the NBA’s All-Star HBCU impact, the NBA Foundation will donate $500,000 to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the United Negro College Fund, Braven and The University of Utah’s HBCU Impact and Black Cultural Center Program. Funding will help expand programming and critical resources for HBCU students and alumni as part of the Foundation’s mission to drive economic opportunity for Black youth.
As part of Grambling State Tigers and Southern Jaguars participation in NBA All-Star 2023, both teams will have the opportunity to engage with NBA league and team executives as well as current and former NBA players and take part in the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service. Also taking place during the week of NBA All-Star will be additional opportunities for HBCU students focused on professional development and exposure including a career-focused session presented by AT&T.
Other HBCU student programming includes:
HBCU Event Intern Program: NBA All-Star
The NBA will host 13 current HBCU students from 10 different schools for the second time at NBA All-Star to serve as interns throughout the week. Participating students will have the opportunity to see behind the scenes of NBA All-Star 2023 and serve in a variety of roles across NBA league office departments. The selected interns are current students at Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Xavier University of Louisiana, Winston Salem State University, Howard University, Hampton University, Morehouse University, Southern University A&M, North Carolina A&T State University, Morgan State University.
NBA All-Star HBCU Student Art Showcase
The NBA commissioned eight HBCU student artists to create original art compositions centered around the cross section of their HBCU experience and sports. Selected artists will have their personal profile and artwork included on event collateral, promotional materials, and various social/digital assets and art will be displayed in NBA All-Star event venues throughout the weekend including at Vivint Arena, the Huntsman Center, NBA House and more.
AT&T Rising Future Makers
AT&T is committed to providing its AT&T Rising Future Makers with connections and opportunities to reach their dreams and ambitions. As part of the Classic, AT&T will host its 2022 Rising Future Makers Sárah “Lee” Buckner from Hampton University, Rachel Motley from Howard University and Jaivien Kendrick from Bowie State University during the game.
The Grambling State Tigers and Southern Jaguars faced off earlier this year on Jan. 14 at Grambling where the Jaguars defeated the Tigers 81-73. Currently in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, their records are 7-3 and 8-2, respectively. Since 1986 against each other, Southern has 46 wins over Grambling State’s 28. Tickets for the NBA HBCU Classic 2023 are currently available at NBAEvents.com and through the NBA Events App, which can be downloaded in the Apple Store or Google Play Store.