Sports Hall of Famers Golf, Raise Money For HBCUs With The Match: Champions for Change

The “Deion Sanders Effect ” continues to elevate Jackson State University and he hasn’t even coached a day on the field. 

In the latest developments, World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson made a $500,000 donation to Jackson State University, and more could be coming in a televised challenge Friday.

Mickelson will be playing in the Turner Sports presents Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change, which will broadcast Friday at 2 p.m. on TNT. 

The 44-time PGA Tour winner went on Barstool Sports’ “21st and Prime,” co-hosted by Sanders, to discuss his donation. 

“As a white male, I’ll never be able to fully empathize and understand the challenges that Black America goes through, but I want to be part of the solution,” Mickelson said.

“Sometimes, you just need a chance, you just need an opportunity. What I’m excited about at Jackson State University is that it gives a lot of people an opportunity that wouldn’t otherwise get it. As we create this match champions for change, we use golf as a way to create change, create awareness and education, but also raise money for opportunities for those who need it.”

This is the third time Mickelson has competed in a made-for-TV fundraising event. He beat his boy and archnemisis Tiger Woods for a $9 million purse in 2018/

At the beginning of the pandemic Mickelson, Woods, Manning and Tom Brady raised $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.

Tiger Woods, Manning, Mickelson & Brady Raise $20 Million For COVID-19 Relief

This challenge will also feature Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, three-time NBA champion Steph Curry and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Oro Valley, Arizona.

The event will include a series of on-course challenges to bring additional funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Each hole has a minimum of $100,00 and will go up to $2,500,000, on select holes, if a golfer sinks a hole-in-one.

Mickelson chose Jackson State, Barkley chose Tuskegee in his home state of Alabama and Curry has chosen Howard. Manning will be pulling triple duty, playing for Grambling State, Southern University at New Orleans and Lane College.

Sanders, who will be part of TNT’s broadcast crew for the event,  has hit the ground running since being named head coach of JSU football. He’s already created a national buzz around the program, sponsors are clamoring to get a piece of Coach Prime, he’s signed his son Shedeur to play QB and he is forming a well-credentialed coaching staff. 

Jackson State hasn’t played a game under Coach Prime, but the program is already winning. Prime, one of the most charismatic athletes in the history of American sports, was brought in to elevate the brand and the GOAT cover corner is locking down the market on HBCU football, ushering in a new era at Jackson State, while allowing other HBCU programs to eat and ride his wave. 

The event’s sponsor, Capital One, will make donations to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Both organizations support and fund scholarships and programs for public and private HBCUs.

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.