The NBA announced today that the men’s basketball teams from Grambling State University and Southern University had been chosen to compete in the NBA HBCU Classic in 2023. NBA All-Star 2023 will include the Southwestern Athletic Conference game on Saturday, February 18, at 4 p.m. ET/2 p.m. MT at the University of Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. TNT, ESPN2, and NBA TV will all simultaneously air the second NBA HBCU Classic.

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NBA great Willis Reed of Grambling State and Bob Love of Southern have been chosen honorary captains of the 2023 NBA HBCU Classic. Before the game, Love and Reed will represent their respective alma maters.

“My pathway from Southern to the NBA has opened countless doors for me,” said Love. “I am proud to support the NBA in using the game of basketball to celebrate the rich history of HBCUs and drive opportunity for the next generation of leaders both on and off the court.”


“I credit my career in part to my time at Grambling State,” said Reed. “The HBCU Classic will provide what is to most a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play on the NBA stage and serve as a platform for those interested in the business side of the game to gain industry insight and make lasting connections.”

Together with the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the teams were chosen. The NBA HBCU Classic is a continuation of the league’s year-round dedication to expanding educational, professional, and economic possibilities in collaboration with HBCU institutions and raising support and recognition for HBCU athletics.

The NBA held its first-ever HBCU Classic earlier this year as a part of NBA All-Star 2022 in Cleveland. Howard University, a participant in the Classic, and Morgan State University each received $100,000 in grants to assist the educational experience. 11 HBCU students worked as paid NBA interns in various fields throughout the week as a part of the league’s HBCU Event Shadow program. More than $1 million was given to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and academic institutions at NBA All-Star to help the HBCU community. The NBA’s new HBCU Fellowship program, which offers undergraduate and graduate students from HBCUs job development opportunities in the basketball business, attracted 60 participants this summer.