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Winston-Salem State handles Virginia Union 64-47 in the 2024 HBCU Classic during NBA All-Star Weekend in Indy

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Although both teams put on a show in front of a sold out crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Rams took the win over Virginia Union University (VUU) Panthers 64-47 at the third annual HBCU Classic presented by AT&T on Feb 17.

“It is turnt in here (Gainbridge),” sports commentator Brian Custer said regarding the electric atmosphere. Custer’s statement ironically embodies what HBCU pride and passion is all about.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have long been pillars of excellence in American education and sports.

The Classic, sponsored by telecommunication giant AT&T, not only celebrates the rich tradition of HBCU athletics but also highlights the talents of student-athletes from schools like Winston-Salem State University and Virginia Union University.

HBCU classic 2024
Virginia Union guard Tahj Harding (24) drives on Winston-Salem State guard Ketron “KC” Shaw (0) during the first half of the HBCU Classic NCAA college basketbsall game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

VUU alum, center for the 2004 championship Detroit Pistons and of the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame member Ben Wallace spoke about the importance of highlighting HBCUs during NBA All-Star Weekend in Circle City.

“We’re (HBCUs) small, but we make a large impact,” Wallace said.

Wallace was the first undrafted NBA player to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Media personality Stephen A. Smith, who coached the Ruffles All-Star Celebrity Game hours before, was also in attendance for the contest. Smith is also an alumni of WSSU.

Fans were also treated to a ‘battle of the bands’ featuring WSSU’s “Red Sea of Sound” and VUU’s “Ambassadors of Sound.”

The HBCU Classic is not just about basketball; it is about impact that extends far beyond the court. For students and alumni, it represents an opportunity to network, engage with their communities and inspire future generations.

“It (HBCU Classic) is a great opportunity for us and it is a great opportunity for the NBA,” Wallace said.

for more events happening during NBA All-Star Weekend in Indy, visit NBAevents.com.

Contact Senior Sports Writer Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846 or via email at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral. For more NBA All-Star 2024 news courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.

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