Getting a highly-touted five-star recruit to choose an HBCU over a Power School is virtually impossible.
In hoops it’s non-existent.
HBCU’s were once breeding grounds for the finest African-American student-athletes in the world — back when segregation and discrimination ran so deep that today’s current PWI’s wouldn’t even allow Blacks to be admitted into their universities.
Once these Power Schools started allowing Black athletes and students into their mainstream corporate educational structures and exploiting them for profit and fame, the elite athletes that previously attended HBCU’s were recruited, bought and stolen by major universities. HBCUs have been considered second rate from the funding to the facilities ever since.
Let’s imagine that Bronny James, a 6-2 freshman at Sierra Canyon (CA) High School, who is also the son of one of the greatest players to ever lace them up, already has a global social media following and is currently playing on TV regularly, decided to attend an HBCU — even for one season.
That would probably be the game changer HBCUs need to attract more of the top tier ballers in the country.
It’s a long shot, but according to an article by former Shadow League HBCU writer Steven J. Gaither, North Carolina Central is shooting its shot at the big, unattainable fish.
NCCU has offered LeBron James’ Jr. a scholarship according to Verbal Commits, a recruiting website.
2023 Sierra Canyon (CA) G Bronny James has received an offer from North Carolina Central. https://t.co/hRlHnQixUZ
— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) January 5, 2020
Currently, just 15-years-old, James is still three years away from graduating high school. But because of his father’s legendary acclaim he’s already considered a highly-pursued commit in the class of 2023.
According to Gaither, “this wouldn’t be the first time that NCCU has gone after a big-name recruit. NCCU head coach LeVelle Moton continued to recruit Raleigh prep sensation John Wall when it was clear that he was Power Five bound when the Durham school was just a few years into Division I basketball.”
The advent of social media, player empowerment and a changing attitude towards student athletes making money off their own brand, has already weakened the NCAA’s grip on controlling the top players in the country and making sure they don’t go pro before the governing body can get a piece of the pie.
It’s becoming clear that certain players make universities and not the other way around as some would have you believe. If Bronny did attend NCCU, it would be a game changer.
This is just the type of splash that LeBron James would love to make with his son. Empowering HBCUs and using his son as the watershed recruit that positively influences ideas on the viability of HBCUs for the nations top ballers.
Bronny will probably only play one year of college at the most, so why attend one of the Power Schools and help them gain all the economic and media advantages that come with a ready made household name.
Y'all simply do not understand the magnitude of this…. @KingJames
Is the GOAT .. it's much more than basketball.https://t.co/DPGEujEVWA
— Uncle Maine (@mrcoleman1984) January 6, 2020
As prestigious a school as Duke is, Zion Williamson’s brand is what boosted ratings, created a rock star atmosphere and generated billions for everyone except him. And most of the beneficiaries of his billion dollar brand were not African-American.
It would be a classic Bron power move. All of the media attention would immediately shift to the small HBCU in Durham because Bronny carries the name recognition. It would elevate the entire status of a school that has long produced prestigious members of the African-American community, despite limited resources.
It would also erase some of the hestiation that aspiring D-1 college and NBA players have about HBCUs because the colleges are more cash-strapped than the established corporate universities. We will keep an eye on this as it develops …over the next three years.