Culture Shift in Collegiate Sports
In 2020 Black people have been battling two pandemics, COVID-19 and racial injustice. With the deaths of Ahmuad Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, black people are FED UP! When the video started to circulate of George Floyd being murdered in front of the world, protest erupted across the world. For the first time in history, ALL 50 states participated in protest for racial injustice.
Throughout the protest, predominantly white institutions showed their support for their Black athletes but there were also A LOT who seemed to not read the room! In response, Black people called for Black athletes to leave PWI’s and head to HBCUs. For most PWIs, basketball and football are their main source of income and both of those sports are dominated by Black kids. If more Black kids decided to attend HBCUs out of high school, many of them probably would still be open. Black athletes heard the call and started to pull out of PWIs and head to HBCUs.
Makur Maker became the first 5 star basketball recruit to commit to an HBCU since 2007, heading to Howard University. Maker is 6-foot-11 center with impressive ball handling skills and great shooting capability. He had offers from University of Kentucky, University of California,Los Angeles and University of Memphis.
Nate Tabor, an ESPN 4-star forward signed on to play for Norfolk State University. Tabor is ESPN’s No.32 in the country for small forwards, No. 32 in the Eastern Region and No. 2 overall in the state of Connecticut. He initially committed to St. Johns University but after the country shifted, he decided to take his talents to an HBCU. The small forward had offers from Auburn, LSU, Texas Tech, TCU, UCONN and East Carolina.
Mikey Williams, No. 3 in the class of 2023 tweeted about his interest in going to an HBCU and sparked a frenzy on social media. Last month, he dropped his top 10 schools and there were 5 HBCUs listed, Alabama State, Tennessee State, North Carolina Central, Texas Southern and Hampton. Hampton is the alma mater of his mother, Charisse Williams, who also played softball at the university. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Alabama State is the frontrunner as the athletic department just hired former NBA player, Mo Williams.
These 5 star recruits can bring A LOT of exposure to HBCUs. ESPN will air those games on their main channel and bring money to the schools as well.
Athletes have called out coaches about their racism and have forced coaches to speak out about racism in the country. It will be very interesting if more athletes will decide to follow suit head to HBCUs.