LeBron James To Young Dolph To JR Smith To Lil Boosie | Deion Sanders Has Made HBCU Sports & Education A Bubbling Brand

Deion Sanders seems content in his role as brand ambassador and King of HBCU Football, but rumors have it that his Alma mater, Florida State, would love to bring Coach Prime back home. (Photo: Screen Capture From JSU vs. FAMU Game)

Deion Sanders‘ presence at Jackson State University has not only raised the national profile of the school and made it a destination of choice for potential four- and five-star players, but his reputation as an elite winner and NFL all-time great has influenced various celebrities to pursue an HBCU education. And inspired others to lend their resources to HBCU programs. 

 

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We all know the close relationship recently murdered Memphis rapper Young Dolph had with the JSU program. 

It was a devastating blow to the locker room, which had developed an affection for the rapper.

Lil Boosie Comes To Jackson State? 

This past week, rapper and social media star Lil’ Boosie announced his plans to enroll in Jackson State University next semester.  

Boosie, while speaking to the crowd, said:

“I’ve been coming to Jackson since I was 14, and I love y’all,” Boosie said. “Y’all love my stanky drawers and I love y’all back. And I just wanted to tell y’all that y’all always been supportive of me and it’s a big secret I was going to let it out, but I’m enrolling in Jackson State next semester.”

Coach Prime is supportive of every opportunity for a Black man to get a formal education but didn’t seem too convinced that Boosie was doing anything other than hyping the crowd with hyperbole.

Sanders responded to Boosie’s plan of enrolling in the school next semester on his 21st and Prime podcast.

“You’re talking about a young man that’s very astute with life. Understanding what he wants to say, what he wants to accomplish. Smart as a whip. And energy level is unbelievable. And I know he said he wanted to enroll. I don’t believe that whatsoever. But I think if there was a school that he would enroll at, it would be Jackson State.”
“First and foremost, this was not only a huge game, 60,000 [people] there, but that was my first time, although we’ve talked on the phone several times, meeting Boosie. So, I was a kid, you know, at halftime because they brought him in. So, I just sat down across from him and gave him that big brother.”

It’s also possible that Boosie Badazz was inspired by NBA champion JR Smith, who enrolled in North Carolina A&T and joined the golf team. 

Via the Shadow League: 

“JR Smith was blessed in that he went straight to the NBA out of high school. He was able to acquire riches early in life and although he went through a maturation process and “grew up” on the job, being part of the 1 percent of all hoopsters who make the NBA, definitely made him a one of the privileged. Eventually, he grew into an All-star caliber player and an NBA champion.

However, he never got to enjoy campus life or immerse himself in the collegiate athletic opportunities and social experiences that most athletes do before they turn pro.

Smith, now retired from the NBA, is starting his next chapter in life; as a student athlete.”

According to the Clarion Ledger:

Boosie, who has already sold millions of records and has hits including “Wipe Me Down” and “Set It Off,” said he’s (also) ready to see what college feels like.

“I’m going to see how it feels to walk around the campus, talk to girls, with a book sack on. I want to feel normal. I miss that part of my life,” said Boosie. “So I want to enroll and be able to walk down the thing and go to class and try my brain because I still have matter up there that need’s to be explored.”

Rapper Kodak Black was once laughed at by the Florida Gators football team for expressing his desire to come to college after acquiring his GED.

Who knows, maybe his life would have gone differently, as far as his legal problems and time spent incarcerated at the peak of his musical success, if his desire to educate himself was encouraged.

The young men in that locker room probably figure Kodak has everything he needs in life as a celebrity. Human beings are constantly evolving and the reality is that Kodak admired their brotherhood and educational experiences just as much.

So shouts to Boosie for trying to evolve as a person, feed his mind, expand his social landscape and taking advantage of everything life has to offer.


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JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.