Michael B. Jordan & Chris Paul Hoop Tournaments Shine National Spotlight On HBCU Athletes

Actor Michael B. Jordan, critically acclaimed for his role as Killmonger in the hit movie Black Panther, is set to have a very busy winter.

While preparing for the release of his new film, A Journal for Jordan, the movie star has also added something else to his busy schedule.

On December 18, Jordan, WME Sports, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and Scout Sports and Entertainment will host the inaugural Hoop Dreams Classic.

“I am thrilled to finally announce the four HBCUs that will be competing in the inaugural Hoop Dreams Classic.” Jordan said in an interview with Variety.

The newly named Invesco Qqq Legacy Classic will take place on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

This was supposed to pop off in 2020, but COVID-19 forced it to be postponed.

 

TNT will televise the doubleheader competition. The HBCU showdown will pit Hampton University against North Carolina Central University. Howard University will play North Carolina A&t University.

Those schools are four of the most popular HBCU brands.

“Invesco QQQ and Turner Sports have been amazing partners in helping bring this experience to life,” Jordan mentioned in a statement.

“I grew up watching games on TNT, so I am confident they will deliver this set of games to a true audience of basketball fans and their families in an exciting way.”

Jordan isn’t the only celebrity with an HBCU basketball tournament on the Eastern seaboard.

Roughly six weeks ago, Phoenix Suns superstar Chris Paul announced that he would be hosting the inaugural Chris Paul HBCU Tip-Off on November 22-23 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The two-day doubleheader will feature Morehouse College, Virginia Union, West Virginia State, and Winston Salem-State.

No one should be surprised as Paul is one of the biggest advocates of HBCUs and he often can be seen wearing attire from different schools while walking the tunnel into NBA games.

“I appreciate the collaboration of the Basketball Hall of Fame and Mohegan Sun in hosting this inaugural event,” Paul said in a statement.

“With several family members and friends who have attended HBCUs, I know firsthand how important they are to our community and country’s future. I’m excited to offer an elevated experience to the players and fans this November.”

Paul is also the brains behind HBCU CON Basketball Academy, a weeklong basketball and academic experience for elite players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The players are offered instruction embedded with skill development from former and current NBA professionals and training for male and female HBCU student-athletes aspiring to play professionally.

HBCU CON was scheduled for June 12-19, 2021, at the Chris Paul Basketball Academy in Winston-Salem, NC.

That tentative date has been moved to Summer 2022, according to Paul’s website.

The weeklong event will encompass a two-day tournament with a televised championship game and E-Sports lounge.

READ MORE: Chris Paul’s CP3 Basketball Academy & TLS Sports host HBCU Con

“HBCU CON was created because we weren’t seeing adequate representation of HBCU athletes being drafted to the professional ranks nor HBCU graduates involved on the business side of sports whether a corporate or production position,” says Chuck Stinson (graduate of Morehouse College), Managing Director of TLS Sports. “We see the issue as a lack of exposure, training and knowledge.”

Paul grew up in Winston Salem, NC, near Winston Salem State University, but his elite basketball talent earned him a full scholarship to Wake Forest University, also in Winston Salem NC.

HBCU athletic programs have been getting a tremendous boost from the celebrity world.

Michael B. Jordan’s showcase and Chris Paul’s tournaments and skills training are invaluable tools for HBCU athletes. The events are very important for the financial health of HBCUs and provides athletes the visibility needed to go to the next level.