Michael B. Jordan is ready to showcase some of the top Black college basketball players in the country. The 33-year old actor announced Wednesday the launch of an inaugural historically Black college and universities basketball showcase called the Hoop Dreams Classic. It will be held on Dec. 18, 2021, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, which is Jordan's hometown.
"This past year has been the tipping point for so many, including myself, in revving up support for Black people," Jordan said in a statement, as reported by Forbes. "As a Newark native, I am committed to bringing change to the community and am honored to be able to present The Hoop Dreams Classic as a way to celebrate the value of community, education, and Black college experiences. Through our shared love of basketball, I look forward to bringing the communal spirit of HBCUs to the city that helped shape me into the man I am today."
The event will be a one-day doubleheader that will feature four of the top Division I HBCU Men's and Women's basketball programs. The Hoop Dreams Classic will feature other parts of HBCU life and culture, including the battle of the banks, culinary events, live music, film festivals, and college and career opportunities. Partial proceeds from the event will support organizations focused on advancing HBCUs and the Newark community.
"After seeing firsthand the lack of resources and information available to basketball players, I was determined to make Hoop Dreams the vehicle that could provide the tools these kids need to be successful in life beyond the game," Hoop Dreams CEO Jessica Estrada said. "Michael and I share similar foundations and visions for our communities which is why I am thrilled to partner with him."
There has been a shift when it comes to how top college recruits look at HBCUs. Makur Maker, a five-star basketball recruit, chose Howard over UCLA and becomes the highest-ranked basketball prospect to commit to a historically Black college or University since ESPN launched its recruiting database in 2007 (No. 16). Additionally, Jackson State recently gained national headlines when the school hired Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to be the head coach of the football team. His presence has led to some notable recruits, including his son, Shedeur Sanders, making their way to play for the HBCU in Mississippi.