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In 1988, I became the first and only McDonald’s All-American basketball player to ever include a historically Black college or university in his final two choices for college. Through much trepidation, I accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Maryland over the Mecca of Black Intellect; Howard University. To this date, no other Black All-American basketball recruit has even taken an official visit to an HBCU campus.
Tonight, basketball fans across the country will eat chicken wings and watch the heavily favored Kentucky Wildcats demolish the only HBCU invited to the dance of 68 NCAA teams; Hampton University.
Kentucky, the winning-est NCAA Division 1 basketball program in history, is also famous for the groundbreaking 1966 NCAA Championship game with Texas Western, that marked the first occurrence of an all-white starting five against an all-Black starting five. The game, which was won by Texas Western, began the gentrification of college basketball and has produced a permanent debilitating economic hierarchy in college athletics for Black schools. As major white institutions began to recruit from the inner cities, the Black athletes abandoned the very schools founded to educate and develop them, and signed up for the Blaxploitation from schools in the major conferences.
Nine Black high school All-Americans will platoon in the Wildcats rotation while Hampton University will field a team of six-teen Black student-athletes who will be starting their corporate internships by Monday morning.
Beginning today, over one billion dollars will be generated during this year’s March Madness by Black athletes. A mere pittance of that billion will circulate back to Black schools due to Hampton’s one-game participation as a sparring partner for the first half TKO coming from the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats.
The award-winning movie “Selma”, which highlights the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, precipitated the integration of college athletics, but has covertly led to the demise of competitive Black collegiate sports. As elite Black athletes continue to eschew HBCU’s where their talent could propel their teams to NCAA moments like Butler and Davidson most recently, Black colleges will remain in the red during March Madness!