More than $3 million to be donated in initial support of HBCUs and communities of color impacted by COVID-19 as part of NBA All-Star 2021

NEW YORK – As part of NBA All-Star 2021, the NBA today announced additional details regarding the NBA family’s collective support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and communities of color disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  As previously announced, the NBA family, including partners AT&T, MTN DEW®, State Farm® and Taco Bell®, will collectively provide more than $3 million in initial support to the HBCU community through 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.

Through contributions and awareness, the NBA family will further the urgent and longstanding work and traditions of these organizations and institutions to create greater educational, financial and health equity.  During the past year, public health data has made clear that the cumulative effect of historic racial and economic inequities in our country have worsened the impact of the pandemic on communities of color and predominately Black institutions.  HBCUs – which produce 20 percent of the country’s Black college graduates but only account for three percent of all colleges in the United States – were particularly impacted by COVID-19, experiencing drastic declines in funding and enrollment.  To learn more about how the NBA All-Star beneficiaries and public and private institutions are addressing these inequities and meeting the needs of the communities they serve, please visit

Below is more information regarding the format and beneficiaries of the All-Star Game, skills competitions and additional elements:

  • NBA All-Star Game: as part of this year’s game format, the two teams will play for either TMCF (comprised of 47 publicly-supported HBCUs) or UNCF (consisting of 37 member colleges) as their respective All-Star beneficiary, which will provide scholarship funding to further HBCU students’ higher education.
    • Each organization will receive an initial $500,000 contribution, with a total of $1.75 million contributed between the organizations.
    • At the end of each of the first three quarters, an additional $150,000 will be awarded to the leading team’s selected organization – totaling $450,000 for those three quarters.
    • A remaining $300,000 will be awarded to the team’s organization that first reaches the Final Target Score in the untimed fourth quarter.
  • AT&T Slam Dunk: through the TMCF COVID-19 HBCU Emergency Fund, the three AT&T Slam Dunk contestants will be paired with an HBCU to provide financial support that will benefit students, faculty or programs that address emergency aid, technology needs, food insecurities and mental health services exacerbated by the pandemic.  Each HBCU represented by the players will receive a $50,000 donation toward their respective school, with the winner earning an additional $100,000.  AT&T will also provide a $100,000 contribution for the three dunkers – $40,000 for the winner and $30,000 for each runner-up – and donate $5,000, or “5Gs,” representative of their nationwide 5G network, toward HBCU student initiatives through TMCF for every dunk during the NBA All-Star Game.  AT&T also collaborates with HBCUs on various programs, including the HBCU Future Leaders Program and AT&T HBCU Innovation Challenge, to help eliminate racial bias found in the development of today’s technologies, increase education, skills building and career readiness opportunities in Black and other underserved communities. 
  • Taco Bell® Skills Challenge: as part of the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge, the six participants will represent HBCU schools and students from a selected state.  An initial donation of $35,000 will be given to students and institutions in each state through UNCF’s Emergency Student Aid program, which provides financial assistance for food and housing, emergency hardship and retention and degree completion to HBCU students.  The winning Skills Challenge participant will earn an additional $40,000 to assist with critical financial support to HBCU schools and students from their selected state.  Additionally, two HBCU students who are part of the Taco Bell® Foundation’s Live Más Scholarship will be recognized during All-Star for using their passion to ignite change in their communities.
  • MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest: during the MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest, every “Moneyball” shot made will yield a $3,500 donation, while “MTN DEW® Zone” shots will be worth $5,000 and benefit Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity, which addresses gap funding for COVID-19 relief efforts in diverse communities throughout the country.  In addition, MTN DEW® – the official soft drink of the NBA – will award $100,000 in newly-created MTN DEW® All-Star Scholarships to two students from PepsiCo partner HBCUs during the 3-Point Contest broadcast.  As part of PepsiCo’s multi-year Racial Equality Journey commitment to support the advancement of the Black community, MTN DEW® developed the MTN DEW® All-Star Scholarship Fund for students from HBCUs who embody the brand’s ideals of passion and commitment to make a difference in the sports industry.  MTN DEW® believes in the power of doing and instigating more diversity and inclusion in the sports industry. 
  • The Goodr NBA All-Star Grocery Pop-Up presented by Kaiser Permanente: in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, Goodr will create full-service grocery stores in 16 communities across metro Atlanta, offering free groceries and household items to senior citizens, families, frontline workers, teachers and school staff.  
  • State Farm Assist Tracker: the State Farm Assist Tracker will return for its sixth consecutive All-Star game as part of the season-long commitment from State Farm to turn on-the-court assists into real-life assists in communities across the country.  For every assist on the court during this year’s NBA All-Star Game, State Farm will donate $1,900 – reflective of the more than 19,000 local State Farm agents – toward scholarship funding through the UNCF.
  • Kia MVP: this year, Kia will donate an all-new, 2021 Sorento SUV to the NBA All-Star Game MVP’s team beneficiary.

The NBPA will also use the platform, influence and impact of All-Star to increase education around the importance of HBCUs and continue their longstanding engagement and support of these institutions.  For the past three years, the union has hosted the NBPA Top 50 camps featuring twenty-five of the best players from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) for on-court skill development and leadership and life skills sessions off the court led by current and retired NBA players.  Additionally, the NBPA Foundation has continued to support HBCU student-athletes through summer school scholarship resources that help facilitate the path to graduation goals for the past two years, including this past year for those who have been particularly impacted by COVID-19.

Throughout the night, HBCUs will be showcased through special performances, unique content and storytelling, and the NBA family will also continue education and awareness efforts around important public health and safety communications.  Coverage of the 70th NBA All-Star Game will begin at 5 p.m. ET on TNT.  Click here for a full schedule of TNT’s coverage of the NBA All-Star Game and skills competitions.