The second annual HBCU All Star Basketball game — featuring the best players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities — is touching down in Houston this April at Texas Southern University.
The event is the brainchild of Travis L. Williams, the former head coach of Tennessee State University and Fort Valley State University. He founded HBCU All-Star LLC in 2019 as a marketing company focused on the promotion of HBCU athletes and the group launched the first annual HBCU All-Star game in 2022 during the Final Four Tournament in New Orleans.
HBCUs have a rich and storied history in athletics, dating back to the late 19th century. Many HBCUs were founded in the aftermath of the Civil War and were established as a means of providing higher education and vocational training for African Americans, who were excluded from white institutions at the time.
One of the earliest HBCU athletic programs was established at Tuskegee University in Alabama in 1892. Tuskegee's football team was one of the first to feature African American players and coaches, and it quickly became a powerhouse in the sport. Other HBCUs soon followed suit, creating their own athletic programs, and competing against one another in a variety of sports.
Over the years, HBCU athletics have played a significant role in the lives of African American students and communities. The athletic programs provide opportunities for students to develop their physical and mental abilities, as well as a sense of pride and belonging. HBCU athletes have often faced discrimination and prejudice, but they have also served as trailblazers and role models for future generations of athletes.
Despite the challenges, HBCU athletics have produced some of the most talented and accomplished athletes in American history. Many HBCU athletes have gone on to compete in professional leagues and to win Olympic medals. Today, HBCU athletic programs continue to play a key role in the lives of students, providing opportunities for personal growth, leadership, and career development. Williams and his HBCU All Stars marketing group highlight the importance of these institutions with the All-Star game.
Tip off at the first annual HBCU All-Star game held in New Orleans.
Photo by HBCU All-Star
The event is not limited to just a game but rather a series of experiences highlighting black culture, including a college admissions fair, an awards ceremony, a series of discussion panels and more. For Williams, the selection of Houston and Texas Southern University was a no brainer.
“Texas Southern University is one of the most prestigious HBCUs in the country and a perfect location for this annual event,” says the group’s founder. “We are truly excited about the opportunity to make history once again during the Final Four Weekend and host the HBCU All-Star game on an HBCU campus.”
The game is a celebration of the culture and traditions of HBCUs which have played a vital role in the education and development of African American students for more than 150 years. This year, the week-long festival will begin March 28 and end with the championship game on April 4th. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the HBCU All-Star scholarship fund.