The most impactful game in Houston this weekend is not a men’s Final Four one- it’ll come on behalf of historically Black colleges and universities.
Some of the best HBCU men’s basketball players will go down to Houston this weekend for a pro scout combine and All-Star Game, all scheduled around the weekend’s Final Four matchups. Recently, Travis Williams, long-time basketball coach and founder of HBCU All-Stars LLC., spoke to rolling out about the game and his career.
Where did the idea of the HBCU All-Stars come from?
God. What a God-driven vision that was placed in my spirits in October 2019. After a successful 17-year coaching career, especially at the two prestigious HBCUs as the head coach at Tennessee State University and Fort Valley State University, God placed his vision in my spirits and said, “Hey, you get ready to do something to change the trajectory of our HBCUs. Something that’s long overdue, and much needed.
So an opportunity in October 2019, I launched HBCU All-Stars, a Black-owned sports marketing, media and events company located in Atlanta, Georgia. Our mission and our vision are exposure, access, recognition, opportunity, and resources as a result of our hard-working talented, ambitious, intelligent, and deserving HBCU student-athletes.[The event] brings coaches across the country to get an opportunity to really put them at the highest form of success and opportunity to highlight Black excellence.
With all of the momentum that HBCUs currently have, what can Black people do to ensure it’s not for a moment, but for the next 10-30 years?
Wow, I’m glad you asked that question.
It starts with our leadership at the top being able to gain this momentum and really understand whatever we do and move forward with, that it’s genuine and authentic. It starts with the leadership up top, and legacy, especially with my launch of an HBCU All-Stars. It’s a God-driven vision for me.
Everybody wins in this HBCU basketball movement. Not just a moment is a moment. For us it’s that, “Hey, making sure we support events like this.”
As you know, we made history in April 2022, hosting the first-ever HBCU All-Star game in the 40-plus-year history of the NCAA Tournament. In less than two weeks, we get the chance to make history again, with the first day of the HBCU All-Star game on an HBCU campus during Final Four weekend in Houston. It’s upon us to support events like this with a great partnership like our CBS Sports partners being able to broadcast this game. Being able to capitalize off the momentum from the exposure this game is going bring to HBCUs, as I mentioned to you, we have 49 participating HBCUs that are part of our selection process of the top 24 players, we had 66 players represented of those 49 HBCUs.
Throughout the 2022-23 basketball season, anytime we can get an opportunity to highlight them in our team and player of the week, that’s an opportunity for HBCUs to be shown in a positive light, and create a positive buzz throughout our HBCU community.
Not only that, we were able to engage our CBS Sports partners to do a national HBCU spotlight, which would set a big-time ripple effect. Anytime we can capitalize on the exposure a game of this magnitude brings to our HBCU community, we must support, and we must push the initiative.