Evan Agostini/Associated Press
Actor Michael B. Jordan has helped organize the Hoop Dreams Classic, a one-day event on Dec. 18, 2021, that will involve four men’s and women’s basketball teams from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Forbes’ Michael Lore shared a statement from Jordan:
“This past year has been the tipping point for so many, including myself, in revving up support for Black people. As a Newark native, I am committed to bringing change to the community and am honored to be able to present The Hoop Dreams Classic as a way to celebrate the value of community, education, and Black college experiences. Through our shared love of basketball, I look forward to bringing the communal spirit of HBCUs to the city that helped shape me into the man I am today.”
Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, will host the Hoop Dreams Classic. In addition to the action on the court, the event will include a battle of the bands, musical performances and additional experiences to highlight the HBCU culture.
Organizers will also donate some of the proceeds to local groups in Newark that work to support HBCUs.
In October 2019, The Atlantic‘s Jemele Hill argued Black high school athletes should give more consideration to HBCUs, which have long struggled to attract blue-chip recruits in high-revenue sports such as basketball and football.
The idea began gaining steam as Americans across the country protested against police brutality and systemic racism.
Makur Maker was the No. 18 player in the 2020 recruiting class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, and signed with Howard in an effort to further the cause. Mikey Williams is the No. 2 overall player in 2023 and listed multiple HBCUs among the schools he’s considering when he takes the next step in his basketball career.