Shakim Muhafiz, Associate Sports Editor
Vince Carter aka “Half-Man, Half-Amazing” is known for his highlight NBA dunks and being the first NBA player to play in four different decades. He may be a superstar and future hall of famer, but during his time at Morehouse College on Feb. 25, he reminisced about his HBCU roots.
He sat center stage with Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who also attended Morehouse for a semester. The topic of Black history in relation to Black colleges became a cornerstone piece for Mike and Carter’s conversation. His love of music specifically is what drove him to the culture of Black colleges.
His family contributed to his relationship with historically Black colleges. Many of his family members attended Bethune-Cookman University, an HBCU. The culture of HBCUs has been implemented in his mind since birth. Throughout Carter’s younger days, it showed.
“I said, if I can go to Florida State to play basketball and FAMU [Florida A&M University] would have let me be in the band,” Carter said. “I would have gone there [Florida State] to do that.”
Carter was offered a scholarship to play in the band for FAMU. His love for Black college bands stems from going to Bethune-Cookman’s campus and working with their band.
“That’s where I grew up,” Carter said calmly when speaking about the HBCU.
As the best high school basketball player in the state, Carter then took his talents from Florida to North Carolina University in Chapel Hill, a predominantly white school. During his time in North Carolina, Carter seems to drift on HBCU’s campuses. North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central University were both there for Carter to feel at home.
“I used to be on their campus so much that people used to ask me if I went there,” Carter said jokingly. “I just naturally migrated to Central.”
Carter would also migrate to HBCUs bands as much as he could. A 45-minute drive to Greensboro, NC, where North Carolina A&T is located, couldn’t even stop his love — even if he went by himself.
“I would go sit at the gate and watch the bands… just because it’s a big game,” Carter said. “Nobody would know.”
Now, Carter is trying to give back to HBCUs like Morehouse. He wants to help young Black males figure out their career paths and help them achieve them as best as he can. His knowledge and wisdom he provided to the Men of Morehouse was to “not skip steps” and “do the work.”
It seems whatever Carter goes, an HBCU follows right behind him.