The National Basketball Association (NBA) is giving back bigger than ever to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

All 107 HBCUs will receive support to advance opportunities, according to the NBA’s website. The NBA is set to launch its first-ever NBA HBCU Classic, a new fellowship program for career development, $1 million in donations through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and additional programming including events and game telecasts.

“The NBA family recognizes the storied and prominent role that HBCUs have played in our society for decades,” NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Tatum said. “We also recognize that within our commitments to increase Black representation across the league and grow the game, we can create educational, athletic and career opportunities through engagement with these institutions. Through continued collaboration with partners like TMCF and UNCF, our teams and members of the HBCU community, we look forward to expanding support of students and alumni in meaningful ways.”

As part of the its 75th anniversary celebration, the HBCU community will be highlighted during the NBA HBCU Classic — which will take place during the NBA All-Star 2022 Weekend in Cleveland, OH. The game will feature Howard University versus Morgan State University on Feb. 19.

“As an association, the NBA should be commended for the foresight and willingness to address important issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion,” Morgan State University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Dr. Ed Scott said. “The creation of the NBA HBCU Classic is a clear demonstration of the NBA’s commitment to promoting HBCUs and showcasing the talented young men and women on our campuses.”

The NBA’s new paid fellowship program will be led by the NBA Foundation in 2022 for undergraduate and graduate students. Through the program, HBCU students will be offered “the opportunity to gain real-life insights and professional experience around the business and operations of basketball.”

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