NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the State Champion Hamilton High School boys basketball team visited Tennessee State University on Thursday and got a chance to talk with the university’s new basketball coach, and other faculty.
The Memphis, Tennessee, team, which recently won the TSSAA Class AA title, was honored at the state Legislature before coming to TSU, where they were treated to lunch with administrators and other faculty, including new TSU men’s basketball coach Brian “Penny” Collins, who is also from Memphis. The young men also met TSU’s mascot.
During his talk with the players, Collins said basketball is a great skill to have, but they should also get a great education.
“That ball will stop bouncing one day,” said Collins. “You have to get your education, get your degree. And then along the road, it will provide you with opportunities to make your dreams come true.”
At least two of the high school players say they plan to attend TSU after graduating in May.
“I heard it’s a great school,” said Martarius Tate, who plans to major in business. “I want to have my own company.”
Markwon Kirkland said he’s also heard TSU is the place to be.
“I just feel like it will give me a good experience,” he said.
Hamilton High basketball coach Will Smith said he’s glad some of his players want to attend TSU. He said he and his wife helped put a former high school player through TSU about five years ago. He said that student has since graduated, and is successful.
“It’s a great campus,” said Smith, who, along with some of his coaching staff, really appreciated TSU’s hospitality.
“The support and how do things around here is just first class,” said Smith.
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With more than 8,000 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, 25 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.