Hawks Handle Business on HBCU Night
Photo by Andy Harris
By Andy Harris, Editor in Chief
Historically Black colleges and universities have been center stage for the last several years. One of the biggest nights in Atlanta is HBCU Night at State Farm Arena presented by Chase.
Since 2018, the Atlanta Hawks have had a game in February where they show love to HBCUs in an effort to share their platform and contribute to their betterment. Before the game, the Hawks hosted a panel called “Evolving the Community: Building a Legacy” where four successful HBCU alumni- including Morehouse Alumnus Torian Robinson (‘04)- spoke to a crowd of HBCU students and graduates.
Torian Robinson (’04)
At HBCUs, students learn about who they are and are able to have life-changing- and potentially humbling- experiences at their institutions. La Keisha Robinson and Rashida Winfrey, alumnae of Johnson C. Smith and Clark Atlanta Universities respectively, were the other two panelists on the stage.
When the Maroon Tiger asked how the panelists’ experiences at their HBCUs prepared them for the moments they’re in now, Robinson spoke exclusively about taking advantage of the opportunities we are afforded. “I often would tell students, even when I was working there, these resources are here, a lot of it is still on you to take advantage of it,” the Morehouse man said.
During the game, the Hawks gave shoutouts to faculty, students, and alumni of HBCUs nationwide. When a timeout was called, Morehouse Journalism professor Christopher Daniel was courtside and got a shoutout alongside rapper Domani Harris.
“Representing Morehouse on HBCU Night with the Atlanta Hawks reminds everyone how serious the team is about celebrating the culture & city of Atlanta. It felt wonderful seeing my students & the college amplify my presence & showcase the connections between both communities. It’s all about celebrating Black Excellence & showcasing how dope HBCUs are” Professor Daniel said.
Rapper Domani Harris and Professor Christopher Daniel
The Hawks had a slow start to the game, but they quickly got hot from the field and stayed that way. Atlanta scored a season-high 49 second-quarter points en route to amassing a 24-point halftime lead and leading by as many as 32. The Hawks finished the game shooting nearly 59% and hitting 15 three-pointers.
Hawks’ star Trae Young was on fire from tip-off, tallying 34 points to go along with his nine assists. Young was excited to play in this atmosphere full of HBCU students and alumni. “It’s always a blessing playing in this month… playing in this arena and this city. I’m glad we’re able to have nights like tonight and for us to appreciate the schools around here,” Ice Trae said.
Interim head coach Joe Prunty told us he was very impressed with Saddiq Bey’s ability to adapt to a new situation. “The bottom line with him [Bey] is he’s come in and he’s been kind of put in a position where he’s got to learn a lot in a short amount of time”. Bey, who was recently traded to Atlanta by the Detroit Pistons, scored 19 points while starting for the injured John Collins.
At halftime, we also were able to watch Morehouse’s own band- House of Funk- rock the arena with Mohogany N’ Motion. While the band is something we see at Morehouse basketball and football game, it is different for them to perform at State Farm Arena.
The Maroon Tiger’s Yasir Muhammad, Arts & Entertainment Editor
On a night dedicated to HBCUs, the Atlanta Hawks certainly did not disappoint. The Maroon Tiger would like to thank the Hawks- especially Malynda Washington- for the opportunity to attend and cover this game.
Malynda Washington, Brand Communications Manager: Atlanta Hawks