Grizzlies celebrate HBCUs and alumni at game vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The Grizzlies took home a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but that’s not all Grizzlies fans celebrated Friday night!
The Beale Street Bears also celebrated Historically Black Colleges and Universities at FedExForum.
Grizzlies fans were in full effect, repping their alma maters and the fraternities and sororities they joined while attending HBCUs.
“You are not a number,” said Sunya Payne, the Director of Community Engagement for Memphis-Shelby County Schools. “You’re a name. You’re relevant. It’s just a beautiful place to start and just having that journey of being able to be a part of an HBCU is amazing.”
Sunya Payne is a proud graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College and sister of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She was honored by the Grizzlies for her work at Memphis Shelby County Schools.
$5,000 dollars will be donated to LeMoyne-Owen in her name.
“It’s truly a blessing for the college and hopefully funds can be used to recruit,” said Payne. “Funds can be used for student life. I’m just so glad that I was chosen and I’m just grateful that it will be honored in my name.”
LeMoyne Owen College choir also sang the national anthem at the game.
The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and the Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South put on a show to remember at halftime.
Southern Heritage Classic Founder Fred Jones says he was happy to see UAPB and can’t wait to see what they do at this year’s Southern Heritage Classic.
“It’s a showcase not only for the school but for Memphis and I’m glad the Grizzlies allowed them to join and really chose them to be involved with it,” said Jones. “They got a really good band. It’s a really good school and I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised how things are going to go this year for the Southern Heritage Classic.”
Whether they graduated in the Mid-South or anywhere else in the country, Grizzlies fans told Action News 5 they’re proud to be HBCU grads.
“I’m a graduate of FAMU and I definitely wanted to be here for the HBCU night and I was actually headed to the store to get my HBCU shirt,” said Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University grad Leslie Daniel.
“Everybody is somebody at an HBCU,” said UAPB grad Johnnie Young.
The Grizzlies are honoring HBCU grads for the entire month of February at their home games.