HBCU al-star classic

In the midst of 2022 Men’s Final Four activities in New Orleans, LA a historic HBCU basketball event will take place today in an arena near Lake Pontchartrain. The inaugural HBCU All-Star game will tip off at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Sun. Apr. 3 at 3 PM CT. CBS Sports will broadcast the affair featuring 24 draft-eligible players from the SWAC, MEAC, SIAC, CIAA, Big South, and OVC conferences. In addition, leading into the game, CBS has an afternoon of related programming planned.

The game is the idea of Travis L. Williams,

a former Tennessee State University and Fort Valley State University coach who had to wrangle rights for the game from Intersport Global, a White marketing firm that works with the NCAA and its annual Final Four efforts. Williams originally pitched the idea of the game to the NCAA in 2019, and they referred him to Intersport, who moved ahead with the idea, only offering Williams “a small consulting role.” Williams hired Atty Ben Crump to get things resolved.

The game, in addition to offering a potentially great afternoon of basketball, will allow 24 HBCU basketball players to showcase their skills and talents, not only for professional scouts but also for millions to witness the HBCU “culture and legacy.”

“The significance of this game is that we never had an HBCU All-Star game during the Final Four weekend. This has never happened, period,” said Williams.

The historical aspect of the event hasn’t garnered the attention of many. Truth be told, the publicity has been relatively quiet in the mainstream media.

CBS has a lot planned ahead of the 3 p.m. CT All-Star Game. The pre-game show, that begins at 2:30 p.m., will include a recap of HBCU All-Star Game events this week, a discussion about the current HBCU coaching climate, and an interview with Williams, the HBCU All-Star Game founder. Sticking close to the HBCU culture, the game will feature play-by-play voice Brian Custer (Hampton University), analysts Clark Kellogg and Avery Johnson (Southern University), and reporter AJ Ross (Howard University.)

CBS also supported the game with a weekend of related shows including two that aired on Saturday. Today, CBS Sports will air “Big House, The Pearl & The Triumph of Winston-Salem State” (1 PM, CT), a documentary that looks back at Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Winston-Salem State’s run to becoming the first HBCU to win an NCAA championship in any sport. HBCUs: 2nd Acts follows with its premiere at 2 PM, CT, telling the story of the resurgence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country, featuring former NBA All Star Kenny Anderson and two-time NBA champion JR Smith.

HBCUs: 2nd Acts will lead into the HBCU All-Star Pregame Show and the inaugural HBCU All-Star Game.

HBCU All-Star Game Team Rosters

The two teams are named after a pair of HBCU Legends, John McClendon and Clarence “Big House” Gaines.  

Team Clarence “Big House” Gaines features players from the SWAC & CIAA Leagues.

Coach Gaines was an outstanding player at Morgan State University before coaching at Winston-Salem State University for 47 years. The six-time CIAA Coach of the Year won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1967 and received induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame (1982) and College Basketball Hall of Fame (2006). Coach Gaines’ impressive 828-447 record is golden standard for HBCU coaches.

Team Gaines Coaches

  • Landon Bussie, Alcorn State

  • Corey Lower, Lincoln (PA)

Team Gaines Roster

  • Jonas James III, PG, 6-0, 200, Jackson State University University, SWAC, NCAA Division I,

  • Shawn Williams PG 6-1, 180, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff SWAC, NCAA Division I

  • Juwaun Daniels ,SG, 6-7, 205, Prairie View A&M University SWAC, NCAA Division I

  • Jalen Seegars SG, 6-5, 215, Fayetteville State University, CIAA, NCAA Division II

  • Javonte Cooke, SG/SF, 6-5, 200, Winston Salem State University CIAA, NCAA Division II

  • Kassim Nicholson, SF/PF, 6-7, 200, Tennessee State University, NCAA Division I Independent

  • Jordan Peebles, SF, 6-7, 190, Virginia Union University CIAA, NCAA Division II

  • Prince Moss SF, 6-7, 180, Grambling State University, SWAC, NCAA Division I

  • Lenell Henry, PF/C, 6-8, 215, Alcorn State University SWAC, NCAA Division I

  • Darian “DJ” Jones, F/C, 6-9, 200, Florida A&M University SWAC, NCAA Division I

  • Navar Elmore, F/C, 6-9, 205, Livingstone College CIAA, NCAA Division II

  • Brison Gresham, F/C, 6-9, 240, Texas Southern University SWAC, NCAA Division I

Team John McLendon features players from the MEAC & SIAC Leagues

McLendon coached collegiate basketball at NC College, Hampton, Tennessee A&I, Kentucky State, and Cleveland State. He was the first Black coach to lead a predominantly white college program and coach at the professional ranks with the Cleveland Pipers. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (1979, 2016) and College Basketball Hall of Fame (2006). He learned basketball from the founder of the sport, Dr. James Naismith. Unfortunately, due to segregation, McLendon could never play varsity basketball for the University of Kansas. Ironically, Kansas is playing for the NCAA National Championship on Monday, Apr. 4, in New Orleans, after the HBCU All-Star Game.

Team McLendon Coaches

  • Robert Jones,Norfolk State

  • Corey Lower, Miles College

Team McLendon Roster

  • Kam Langley PG 6-2, 175 North Carolina A&T State University, NCAA Division I Independent

  • Brandon Miller PG 6-0, 175 Miles College SIAC, NCAA Division II

  • Kyle Foster SG 6-5, 172 Howard University MEAC NCAA, NCAA Division I

  • Trey DeLoach SG 6-5, 185 Savannah State University SIAC, NCAA Division I

  • Myles Carter SG 6-1, 185 Delaware State University MEAC, NCAA Division I

  • Randy Miller SG 6-2 180 North Carolina Central University MEAC, NCAA Division I

  • Tajh Green SF 6-8, 210 Benedict College SIAC, NCAA Division II

  • Noah Morgan SF 6-6, 195 Morehouse College SIAC, NCAA Division II

  • Randall Brumant PF 6-7, 220 Howard University MEAC, NCAA Division II

  • Deaquan Williams F/C 6-8, 210 South Carolina State University MEAC, NCAA Division I

  • JaQuan Lawrence F/C 6-8, 200 LeMoyne-Owen College SIAC, NCAA Division II

  • Najee Garvin F/C 6-8, 210 Hampton University, NCAA Division I Independent

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