Behind the scenes with Heroes: MLK Day, HBCU hoops and the White House

WASHINGTON – As Martin Luther King III, his wife and daughter were honored before the second quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ holiday matchup against the Washington Wizards on Monday, a distracted looking Stephen Curry gave -team and took a moment to reflect on the importance of this historic two-day trip.

Fans from both teams were in awe as the Warriors star scored 41 points and hit six 3-pointers in Golden State’s victory. The 2022 NBA Finals MVP was also feared over two days.

The Warriors played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. in the nation’s capital, then celebrated their championship at the White House the next day, with Curry walking the stage with President Joe Biden in the historic East Room of the White House.

“It’s an appreciation of the platform we’ve been given and the way it’s being used for our successes to impact people’s lives throughout our careers,” Curry told Andscape after Monday’s game. “Playing on MLK Day is special with his [King’s] family here. Going to the White House is all about the power of sports and honoring the progress made because of Dr. King and the legacy he created. The fact that we get to go play is a direct reflection of the freedoms he talked about.

“There are certain names when you hear them that mean something in terms of the progress that has been made and we can all honor it in our own ways, whether in our communities at home or at large. The fact that they are still out there carrying his legacy says it all. That moment they had in the middle court was powerful. I tapped the scorer’s table and I wasn’t worried about what the coach was saying at the time because I was reflecting on history. There was a lot of history.”

With US congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and rappers J. Cole, E-40 and Mistah Fab in attendance along with the King family, the Wizards defeated the Wizards 127-118 in their lone visit to this the season at a sold-out Capitol One Arena. . There were nine NBA games that took part in MLK Day to celebrate the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader who preached non-violent protest. The Warriors, Wizards and all NBA players who took part in the MLK Day contests wore warm-up shirts that read: “Now is the time to Make Justice a Reality For Everyone.”

Since the holiday was first observed in 1986, the NBA has played games on MLK Day every year except the strike-shortened 1998-99 season. There were 367 games played on the holiday, according to NBA.com. King III told Andscape that he appreciates the NBA celebrating the MLK holiday every year and thought it was “special” that the players wore commemorative MLK jerseys.

“Anytime you’re using the platform of sports to talk about what Martin Luther King stands for is very positive,” King III said. “Millions of people, millions of fans are watching this. In the past there were not so many games. I went to Atlanta and to a few other teams. But I just think that focusing on the holidays and people talking about it can have a positive impact on a nation.”

About an hour after the game, King III and his family met with a very excited Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers for about 10 minutes in a private room. The hope was that the King family would get to meet the players, too. It is common for the King family to visit the Wizards on MLK Day.

Kerr and Myers invited King III and his family to visit the Warriors for a game in San Francisco in February during Black History Month. King III said he wanted to come. Kerr also told the King family that he hopes to visit the King Memorial here Wednesday morning.

“I was rooting for her to win,” King III admitted to Kerr.

About 30 minutes later, Pelosi and at least 20 people, including her security detail, took over the same private room and patiently waited for Curry. She was ecstatic when the Warriors star entered the room still in uniform to visit her. Pelosi hugged Curry upon arrival.

“Congratulations on a great game. It’s great to see you,” Pelosi told Curry.

Later Monday night, there was another MLK basketball celebration just down the road between two historically Black universities as the Howard University men’s basketball team hosted Morehouse College, its alma mater of King Jr. In a nationally televised game, Howard defeated Morehouse 89-65 in a sold-out Burr Gymnasium. It was truly an HBCU event, as Howard’s band and cheerleaders entertained the crowd as well as rapper Mistah F.A.B. at halftime.

Warriors players Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga attended the game. Afterward, Iguodala, Washington Wizards rookie Johnny Davis, Warriors chief legal officer David Kelly and Howard men’s basketball coach Kenneth Blakeney took part in a sports and entertainment panel. culture in the middle of the court.

Iguodala really enjoyed his first time at an HBCU sporting event.

“I felt like I did it the first time back in Africa,” Iguodala said during the panel discussion. “I am of African descent. My pops is from Nigeria. When I landed and got to the city [of Lagos, Nigeria], it was like a warm hug when I saw us, especially with my background studying our people. It’s always nice to see us together and see the community.

“It was a great basketball game. There was a lot of fun with the band, dancers, and cheerleaders. It was a nice atmosphere.”

The 2015 NBA champion Warriors visited the White House on February 4, 2016, when President Barack Obama was in office. The Warriors’ 2017 and 2018 NBA championship teams, however, did not visit the White House when President Donald Trump was in office. The Warriors were already planning not to visit the White House after their 2017 title after Curry mostly stated that he didn’t want to go because of Trump. Curry has been critical of Trump’s verbal attacks on Black athletes who protest the national anthem. Curry, Kerr, and the Warriors players in general believed that Trump was racially dividing the nation.

The Warriors were supposed to have a team conversation after Media Day on September 23, 2017, about whether they wanted to attend a 2017 NBA title celebration ceremony at the White House in anticipation of turning down a potential offer . Curry and his wife, Ayesha, woke up to a tweet from Trump that morning that he was no longer invited to the White House for the champions’ traditional trip to Washington. Trump’s tweet also came a day after the president told NFL owners to fire players who did not stand for the national anthem while protesting social injustice and racism.

“It was a wild morning because it wasn’t what we expected,” Curry reflected to Andscape after defeating the Wizards. “We planned to have a meeting about [the White House] that day in our [first] practice. I woke up and my wife tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Did you see this?’ I said, ‘What?’ She showed me the tweet. It was kind of a narrative for the day. It created a microcosm of all the tension at that time.

“We were going to have a mature conversation about how we were going to face the situation. In his fashion, he grabbed a strong and took over. Ultimately, it was my decision and the group’s decision. Now, we have another opportunity to go back, which is pretty cool.”

Instead of going to the White House in 2016, the Warriors toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture with local Washington students. In 2019, the Warriors met with Obama instead of visiting Trump at the White House. Kerr added that the Warriors who decided not to visit when Trump was in the White House had everything to do with him and nothing to do with the Republican party.

Kerr reflected on not going to the White House with Trump then versus going now with Biden in office.

“We weren’t invited, but I don’t think we would have gone anyway,” Kerr told Andscape. “Those were the times. Part of the reason Biden is in the White House is that the majority of Americans wanted calm and peace. It is a calmer time. Things return to normal where she wins a title and visits the White House. It’s a great day for everyone. There is not this big brouhaha.

“It has nothing to do with the party. I met with [President Ronald] Reagan. The two Bushes [Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush]. And I was glad to meet them. It has nothing to do with the party. He is the man. We just didn’t feel like Trump treated people with respect and it felt bad to visit him. But still they beat us to the punch.”

Added Warriors forward Draymond Green to Andscape: “To know that things are in a better place, and we can have that honor of celebrating a championship is not something we take for granted. We were the first team to really miss that opportunity.”

Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

These reigning NBA champion Warriors really enjoyed their return to the White House.

Curry and Kerr kicked off the Warriors’ media rounds by making remarks in the White House briefing room with White House press secretary Karine Jeane-Pierre. Curry thanked Biden for “bringing [WNBA star] Britney Griner home” from Russia. Griner returned to the United States in December after a prisoner swap between America and Russia ended her 10-month detention on drug-smuggling charges after she tried to leave the country with one gram of CBD oil. Kerr also said he participated in a roundtable on gun violence and gun safety with senior White House staff, Moody and Warriors star Klay Thompson.

Curry also thanked Biden and the Vice President and longtime Warriors fan Kamala Harris for the invitation. After Curry and Kerr left, Jeane-Pierre continued her press briefing with questions unrelated to the Warriors.

“To have this opportunity to reflect on the achievement last year, to bring everyone together to celebrate this, to also recognize the place that sports has to unite people from all walks of life, every background,” Curry said at the press conference. “Having another opportunity to celebrate this means a lot.”

On the State Floor level of the White House is the historic East Room, which is typically used for press conferences, bill signings, and dance and music performances. The largest of the State Rooms was originally designed by George Washington and James Hoban to be a “House of Public Audience.” John F. Kennedy’s casket was placed in the East Room after he was assassinated on November 22, 1963. President Lyndon B. Johnson also signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in East Room on live television.

The Warriors’ second trip to the East Room since 2016 featured several Bay Area hip-hop icons in Too $hort, E-40, Mistah F.A.B., and hip-hop journalist hop Sway Calloway, who are natives of Oakland, Calif. San Francisco mayor London Breed was in attendance, as were Pelosi and her husband, Paul.

Kerr, Curry, and the Warriors players collectively have been known for fighting against social injustice, racism and gun violence. Calloway said the Warriors’ reputation on and off the hardwood is the reason he made sure to attend.

“These Warriors players represent the spirit of the Bay Area that has been there for generations before us,” Calloway, who has lived in New York City for years, told Andscape. “They are champions. They never stop. They are resilient. And they are active on and off the court. These guys are social activists too.

“They are a tremendous inspiration. It was important for me to be here to support them in the White House — being a Bay Area native born and raised in Oakland, California, born at Kaiser Hospital and going to Oakland High. Living on the East Coast, I always feel on the Warriors for an empty room, baby. So, I want to come celebrate. I am proud of these people.”

Green appreciated the support from hip-hop stars.

“The way our fans support us is unbelievable,” Green said. “Short, Fab, 40, they embody everything of what it is to be a Warrior. The support was there during the up days and down days. I love it and appreciate it. They took us as their own, and you have to show that love and appreciation back.”

The East Room was truly standing room only when the Warriors players, coaches and staff from the 2022 NBA title team took the stage. Harris, who said she was an Oakland native and longtime fan, was next to take the stage and salute her beloved team. The Warriors sent Harris a celebratory jersey after she became Vice President that she says is hanging in her training room at home. After Harris’ speech, Biden and Curry took the stage to Green’s delight.

“The thing that stood out the most for me was seeing Steph go out with President Biden. That was such an incredible moment,” Green said.

Curry most enjoyed the atmosphere of free loving.

“Just the vibe is obviously different in that it accepts people from different walks, different backgrounds and actually walking that walk,” Curry said.

Biden also emphasized the activism of the Warriors by saying that they were “speaking out against racism, standing up for equality. I mean speaking out loud against racism, responding to encouraging people to vote, giving s -empowering children and their families to eat healthy, learn and play and safe places, unite the country against gun violence.”

At the end of the ceremony, 80-year-old Biden surprised the room by kneeling on stage during a group picture taken with the Warriors and Harris. There was no explanation for Biden kneeling.

Curry appreciatively called the moment “pretty dope.”

“A very symbolic and iconic moment of a sense of what that image was,” said Curry, who visited the Oval Office and was given a special presidential coin and golf balls from Biden. “The fact that he used to do it there. He didn’t put it into words, but he is just a humble server. That’s how you want someone to approach the position they are in let alone the magnitude of that moment. It was pretty dope. That picture will be one to keep.”

There have been many great days for the Warriors during their run of four championships from 2015 to 2022. But even the reigning NBA champions admit that playing on MLK Day in D.C. followed by a return to the White House under Biden is something they will always be. remember fondly.

“You add [the] vacation of Dr. King, the White House visit and the atmosphere at yesterday’s game in the arena, it brings the good vibes, the good memories of the tournament and the good energy of gratitude and appreciation for what we have accomplished and the journey we were on,” Curry said. “And you can bring together the world of sports and the world of non-sports to bring those worlds together and talk about things that are actually important. It is special.

Said Green: “You try to bottle up the energy you got from these few days and do something with it. It’s been an incredible few days for us.”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to for years and his knees still hurt.

Why are HBCU only for black students?

Overview of Experiences White students have always been welcome – as have those of other races and ethnicities. To see also : Cheerleader Challenge: PSJA High School. HBCUs exist because, historically, black students have not been allowed to take classes at predominantly white institutions (PWIs).

Is it okay for a white person to go to an HBCU? Students of any race and ethnicity may apply to an HBCU, as long as they meet the degree requirements. Normally when applying to university in the United States, you are required to fill out one application for each school.

What percentage of HBCU students are black? Although HBCUs make up only three percent of the country’s colleges and universities, they enroll 10% of all African American students and produce nearly 20% of all African American graduates.

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What HBCU is 90% white?

So much so that today, the student body of Bluefield State College, originally Bluefield Colored Institute when it was founded in 1895, is 90 percent white. This may interest you : O-Zone: No entertainment zone.

Are there white faculty at HBCUs? While Loggins may not have expected to meet so many White faculty at Morehouse, which serves a student body of almost 100 percent Black, the reality is that White faculty have always had a place at HBCUs.

What is the percentage of white students at the HBCU? HBCUs were created to support higher education for Black students nationwide. HBCUs account for 3% of colleges and universities nationwide. Some HBCUs enroll up to 40% white students. Black culture and traditions continue to play an important role in HBCUs.

Which HBCU has the most white students?

Bluefield State College, also an HBCU in West Virginia, reported about 77 percent of students were white in the fall of 2021. On the same subject : Eagles cheerleaders join Aunyea to prepare fans for the 2022 season.

Which university has the most white students? US Colleges Ranked by Highest Percentage of White Students. Below is a ranking of the 3581 colleges in the United States with the highest percentage of white students. American Conservatory Theater tops the list with white students comprising 100% of the school’s enrollment.

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