NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nashville’s four historically black colleges and universities will come together on Wednesday, April 10, in the first-ever HBCU Pride Basketball Tournament.
Tennessee State University, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and American Bible College will participate in the intramural sports event involving non-NCAA student athletes.
The tournament will begin at 7:45 p.m., on the TSU Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center Basketball Courts on the main campus.
Organizers say the event, intended to be a future fundraiser, is free and open to the public. It will feature the kings, queens and royal courts of the institutions, as well as vendors and entertainment. Court Yard Wednesday – usually held in the TSU Student Center, where student organizations set up tables and other displays – will move to the tournament site as part of the festivities.
The tournament is the brainchild of Gerald Davis, TSU alum and director of the Wellness Center. He said the idea to organize the tournament and bring the four institutions together has been in the works for a long time.
“HBCU Pride as an idea is something I have been thinking about for about three years now,” says Davis. “It’s always been a goal and a wish of mine to have all four HBCUs right here in the Nashville area to do something together.”
He says representatives from the other institutions have embraced the idea and are excited about this inaugural event, with a plan to make it an annual event to raise funds for the four schools.
“I think something like this will have a positive spin to have all four schools together. So, the basketball game for me is just a backdrop of bringing all four schools together. More importantly, it is just the camaraderie that I have always wanted to see all four schools together,” says Davis.
Tammi Lavender, event co-organizer and director of student life at Meharry Medical College, says Meharry students like the idea of bringing the local HBCUs together and are excited to participate in the tournament.
“We have only intramural sports at Meharry, and so when I sent the email to our students they were very excited about coming down to participate,” says Lavender. “I definitely like the idea for the tournament and the plan to make it even better to support our HBCUs.”
HBCU Pride comes a few days before the start of Alumni Coming Home and Legends Weekend – April 12-14 – featuring a celebration of TSU football players who went to the pros, a 5K run/walk, and the Blue & White Football Game.
“The plan is to grow it and bring alumni back,” says Davis. “I wanted to strategically put this around our (alumni) coming home weekend. So, hopefully we will be able to get on the big schedule next year with other activities.”
Participating institutions will receive trophies for first, second and third places, with the winning team receiving an overall championship trophy that must be returned and competed for each year, “like the Stanley Cup,” says Davis.
For more information on the HBCU Pride Tournament, call Gerald Davis at 615-963-2260.
Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
About Tennessee State University
With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.