NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University student athletes will each receive a $25,000 scholarship thanks to NBA star and TSU alum Robert Covington.
He made the announcement during the recent NBA All-Star weekend in Atlanta. The scholarship recipients are Nashville, Tennessee, junior Micahlea Njie (VB) and Michael Thompson (track), a junior from Miami, Florida.
Covington graduated from Tennessee State University in 2013 with a degree in Exercise Science while finishing his college basketball career ranked seventh on Tennessee State’s all-time list in both scoring (1,749 points) and rebounding (876).
The Portland Trail Blazers forward is currently the only NBA player to have graduated from an historically black college or university. Covington sported a TSU jersey when he competed in the All-Star skills competition.
In November, he gifted TSU with a donation for a construction project to enhance the university’s basketball program. The facility, to be called the “Covington Pavilion,” will have two practice courts, locker rooms and offices for the men’s and women’s basketball programs.
The gift is the largest of that magnitude to an HBCU by a former athlete who was a product of its program. During the announcement of the gift, Covington talked about the impact of attending TSU, an HBCU.
“This university (TSU) has molded me, gave me the foundation and helped me play with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I wouldn’t change it for nothing. I’m a walking product of a kid that went to an HBCU and created a narrative for myself. I feel like now is the time for change and progression all around. I’m in a great place to give back to the place that shaped who I am – not only as an athlete but as a man. “
This year, as part of NBA All-Star 2021, the league and the players’ association committed more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward HBCUs.
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Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.