The 2022 HBCU All-Star Game showcased talent, culture and promise
As the host city, New Orleans was in the best position to kick off the first 2022 HBCU All-Star Game. The Big Easy is well known for its great food, culture, and mix of people from diverse backgrounds. All were on full display in the game as well with the diversity of talent on both Team McLendon and Team Gaines.
HBCU ALL-STAR GAME WON
HBCU All-Star Game founder Travis Williams wanted to showcase player talent and culture, and the event did not disappoint fans and millions of viewers. The game was like a big gumbo, filled with up-and-coming athletes whose skills flavored the game with a collection of spicy dunks, three-pointers and highlights. Ultimately, Team McLendon would win the 2022 HBCU All-Star Game 1 against Team Gaines, 79-75.
Most all-star games aren’t usually the best played, coached, and officiated. However, this game was different, especially after the first break in action. Players seemed to calm down and started making some highlight-worthy plays.
Kudos to CBS for assembling an all-star team in the afternoon. The show was flavored with HBCU alumni Brian Custer (Hampton), Avery Johnson (Southern) and (AJ Ross Howard) all swirling together as basketball legend Clark Kellogg layered analysis with his smooth delivery to sweeten the range of listeners.
Benedict College forward Tajh Green won the MVP award for going 3-of-3 from Canal Street in downtown New Orleans, scoring 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
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One of the best performances came from New Orleans native forward Brison Gresham. After transferring from the University of Houston, he’s been one of Texas Southern’s top defensemen this season. Gresham was active to rebound and score. Before the end of the first half, Gresham had blocked two shots in the dying seconds.
Other standout performances came from Prince Moss (Grambling), Howard’s Kyle Foster (Howard), Jawaun Daniels (Prairie View A&M), Kassim Nicholson (Tennessee State), Najee Garvin (Hampton), and Jalen Seegars (Fayetteville State).
HBCU ALL-STAR GAME OVERVIEW
The contest was tight in the final minutes. Team McLendon led by four points with 2:10 remaining at 73-69. Team Gaines shot within 2 points at 37 seconds. On a trip to the charity line, the McLendon team had a 77-73 lead with 17 seconds and eventually won 79-75.
Team Gaines’ 24 turnovers were eleven more than Team McLendon’s and contributed to their loss. The McLendon team rebounded 54 to 37 and had fewer points in the paint 44 to 38, but managed to win by four points. Team Gaines also failed at the free throw line shooting less than 44% at one point.
MORE LIKELY HBCU ALL-STAR GAMES
During the post-game festivities, confetti flowed down the hardwood of the UNO Lakefront Arena. Travis Williams celebrated with CBS executives and the McLendon team. Williams’ brainchild was a success.
Penny Hardaway and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe were in attendance along with many other celebrities.
The game, community service and events were well organized which bodes well for corporate sponsors like Aflac, Capital One, Pizza Hut and ATT to keep the event going. As we wait for attendance and viewing numbers, it’s highly likely that more HBCU All-Star Games will be bigger and brighter for future HBCU basketball legends.