*NBA veteran Chris Paul is set to take inquiring minds inside the challenges that historically Black colleges and universities face when recruiting for their basketball programs.
According to Deadline, the series will follow “schools over the course of the 2020-21 season as programs try to compete with bigger schools for top prospects” the outlet writes.
“There was an HBCU right in my back yard,” Paul told the publication. “For some reason, I just didn’t really think of it. Today, kids’ mindsets have changed. We hope that this show will keep that conversation going.”
While Paul didn’t attend a historically Black college himself, he has paid it forward to various HBCU programs, including a $25,000 donation to Winston-Salem State, per The Athletic.
“Everybody in my family went to HBCUs except for me,” he said at All-Star weekend. “So I understand the importance of them. They don’t always get the same funding that a lot of other schools get, so I’m trying to bring a lot of that knowledge to the forefront because it’s education.”
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Only 40% of young Black people voted in the 2016 election — and we are on a mission with @CP3 to change that. #RootsPicnic: Join our fight to close the race and age gap in voter participation in every election: https://t.co/kYO4EFPysf pic.twitter.com/p7pXs9rIKv
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Paul believes the ongoing protests against racial injustice could have a positive impact on HBCUs.
“With the current racial awakening in our country prompting young athletes to look at where they play, he said. “It’s now more important than ever to shine a light on HBCUs and showcase their value in sports and society.”
Meanwhile, Paul told ESPN’s Marc Spears that the Players Association is working with the league to allow political, social or charitable messages on jerseys.
Instead of a player’s last name, the back of his jersey could feature the name of Black Americans killed by police, such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor or phrases like “Black Lives Matter” or “I Can’t Breathe.”
“People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando,” Paul told Spears. “With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away.”
Paul said players will be forced to participate.
“The guys I talked to were definitely excited,” Paul told Spears. “The reason I’m passionate and excited about it is that it gives a voice to the voiceless.”
— Oklahoma City Thunder (@updates_okc) June 30, 2020
In related news, the NBA season is set to resume July 30 at Disney World. The Thunder will open play Aug. 1 against the Jazz for the first of its eight “seeding games,” per The Oklahoman.
“A shared goal of our season restart will be to use our platform in Orlando to bring attention to these important issues of social justice,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday.
“We look forward to engaging in ongoing conversations with the players and their association about our joint league wide initiative and thank Michele (Roberts), Chris and the other players for their leadership toward creating meaningful, long-term change.”