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Ballin’ HBCU High School Basketball Premier Basketball Highlights The Next Generation

The NBA season may be over, but inside the Philadelphia 76ers’ Chase Fieldhouse, on a warm weekend in May, you might hear the sounds of a freshly awarded kick ringing the hardwood floor, the satisfying sound of hitting nothing but net and good. pipes are played.

Organized by One Goal One Youth, an organization dedicated to empowering young athletes and providing educational opportunities, founder Rachel Naughton led the leadership in putting together the first “Ballin’ HBCU” High School Football Showcase. They partnered with AND1 to host the invitation-only tournament that brought together more than 40 athletes from New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland’s best athletes. The goal? To be the bridge that connects these players to the academic and athletic programs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

On the sidelines: Hall of Famer Ben Wallace—a longtime AND1 supporter—signed autographs for fans in attendance, posed for photos with players and staff before tip-off while giving a pep talk before the game to all comers. the players.

“It is important for me to come back and support events like this because I was in the same place, playing on the same stage and it worked for me,” he said.

And it’s true. Before he blocked the NBA’s leading scorers with his defensive determination and shot-blocking, Wallace made a name for himself at these basketball camps, where he got the attention of All-Star Charles Oakley. From there, he went on to become an HBCU-alum at Virginia Union, and the rest is history. “It’s important to come back, show support, and tell these players that anything is possible,” added Wallace.

The four-time Defensive Player of the Year was flanked by various AND1 Mixtape Legends — including Shane “The Dribble Machine” Woney, Duke Tango, Leaky Roof and The Pharmacist — who took in the sights and sounds while signing autographs for attendees and Big Ben . . While all that was happening, the show included a youth band performance and a few gifts to mark the day with extra energy.

All of this culminated in this showcase of girls and boys sports competition on May 11. The girls game was called first, as MEAC “Rise” overcame a ten-point deficit and outlasted SIAC “Overrides” 67-53, with guard Alyssa Febres winning the Game MVP. . In celebration of their success, five women from the show received full scholarships to Benedict College. The boys game closed out the double-header, where the SWAC “Attacks” outlasted the CIAA “Chosen Ones” 86-78, with guard D’Andre Gibbs awarded the Game MVP.

But as the buzz echoes through the 76ers’ Chase Fieldhouse, as the first draw of the Ballin’ Showcase draws to a close, the show goes on. To kick off the summer season, AND1 kicked off the Open Run Tour in Coney Island, New York, on June 23, as their never-ending mission to promote the next generation of gamers and bring people together through the game continues.

Photos by Anthony Geathers.

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