NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that NBA All-Star 2021 will be held on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Hawks, where the league’s annual global celebration of the game will take place on one night for the first time, with oncourt action beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT. As part of this year’s events, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced that they will commit more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and support and awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines.
TNT’s NBA All-Star coverage will begin at 5 p.m. ET with TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax, followed by the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. Coverage of the 70th NBA All-Star Game will begin at 8 p.m. ET, with AT&T Slam Dunk taking place at halftime. The game will follow the same format as last year, with the teams competing to win each quarter and playing to a Final Target Score during the untimed fourth quarter.
The rosters for the NBA All-Star Game will be determined through the NBA All-Star Draft, where the two team captains will select from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference and make their picks without regard to conference affiliation. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference. NBA All-Star starters will be announced tonight, Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.
In partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), UNCF (United Negro College Fund), National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO) and Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity, the NBA, NBPA and NBA All-Star 2021 partners, including AT&T, MTN DEW® and Taco Bell®, will highlight the importance of HBCUs and raise awareness around the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. In addition, All-Star will feature special performances by HBCU musical groups and unique storytelling and content by distinguished alumni and students.
For NBA All-Star 2021, the NBA and NBPA have established additional measures to supplement the league’s current Health and Safety Protocols. These include private travel to and from Atlanta, the creation of a “mini bubble” environment within a single hotel for players and coaches, and enhanced PCR testing. More information is available here. Additionally, for the well-being and safety of the greater Atlanta community, there will be no fan activities, ticketed events or hospitality functions as part of All-Star.
Additional details regarding NBA All-Star 2021 and the date of the NBA All-Star Draft will be announced in the coming days.
NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver: “NBA All-Star in Atlanta will continue our annual tradition of celebrating the game and the greatest players in the world before a global audience. In addition to the festivities on the court, the All-Star Game will honor the vital role HBCUs play in our communities and focus attention and resources on COVID-19 relief, particularly for the most vulnerable.”
NBPA Executive Director, Michele Roberts: “HBCUs provided premium education to our communities at a time when access to higher learning was denied to us. They were there – and have remained there – for us. We now stand with them.”
Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO, Dr. Harry L. Williams: “As a founding partner of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the NBA has been a consistent supporter for more than 33 years. By dedicating its All-Star platform to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the NBA is making a profound statement about the league’s commitment to a better future, recognizing the crucial role Black Colleges have always played in facilitating racial equity and serving the African American community.”
UNCF CEO, Dr. Michael Lomax: “We welcome this exciting opportunity to partner with the NBA and the players. Together, the NBA and players can shine a bright light on the vital work of our nation’s HBCUs and help ensure that we can support our Black college students on their education journeys.”
Clark Atlanta University President, Dr. George T. French, Jr.: “The Clark Atlanta University community is incredibly excited to be a part of NBA All-Star 2021. The night will provide a unique opportunity not only to celebrate the accomplishments of our students, faculty and alumni, but also to share the rich history and essential contributions of our institution and other HBCUs with a global audience.”
The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) President, Rev. Matthew Wesley Williams: “As NBA All-Star Weekend visits the City of Atlanta to showcase the talents and contributions of some of the world’s best and most well-known athletes, the ITC community is pleased to join the NBA and its players in celebrating the achievements and contributions of some of our country’s most important institutions – our Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
Morehouse College President, David A. Thomas, Ph.D.: “NBA All-Star 2021 presents an extraordinary moment to highlight the legacy of scholarship, leadership and service HBCUs have represented since their founding. Morehouse College is excited to be a part of this celebration and momentous occasion.”
Morris Brown College President, Dr. Kevin James: “Morris Brown College would like to thank the NBA, NBPA and the entire extended NBA family for including us in this year’s All-Star Game. We welcome and appreciate the attention the night will bring to the unique and vital role played by historically Black institutions here in Atlanta and across the country.”
Spelman College President, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell: “As NBA All-Star returns to Atlanta, Spelman College looks forward to being a part of the celebration that highlights HBCUs across the city and beyond. Our mission at Spelman is to educate Black women to become global leaders and to inspire a commitment to positive change. We are honored to be part of the NBA 2021 All-Star celebration of our nation’s HBCUs.”
About the NBA All-Star Beneficiaries
Thurgood Marshall College Fund
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member schools include the 47 publicly-supported HBCUs and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), including medical and law schools. TMCF also serves as a resource for nearly 300,000 students enrolled in the HBCU/PBI network of schools. The NBA is one of the founding partners of TMCF.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund)
UNCF is the nation’s largest minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other HBCUs are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees.
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) is the membership and advocacy association of all 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 80 Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). NAFEO also Chairs The Alliance for Equity in Higher Education, a formal collaboration among the umbrella associations of all the Asian American and Pacific Islander Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, HBCUs, Predominantly Black Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
Direct Relief (Fund for Health Equity)
Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 100 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. The Fund for Health Equity will identify and provide financial support to communities in which deep-seated effects of historic racism and socioeconomic disparities remain and are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.