HBCU capsule: the Hampton impact

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In honor of BHM, SLAM presents: THE HBCU CAPSULE COLLECTION

If 2020 has taught us something, we can face the challenges and against all odds. It's about having this mamba mentality like the late and great Kobe Bryant. I bet this is what the Hampton University Men's basketball program felt like in the 2001-02 season.

The Hampton Pirates opened their season against the 19th University of North Carolina (UNC). It was supposed to be a warm-up game for UNC, but Hampton didn't say today. The pirates came out and beat UNC, 77-69. That game set Hampton to have one of the best seasons in programming history, and they ended with a record of 26-7. When upset, the media likes to use the title “Cinderella Story” to recognize teams for outperforming the odds.

I don't like the comparison because the Hampton basketball program and the university itself are not a "Cinderella story". I want to say that this game is an embodiment of Hampton Hustle, Hard Work, and Heart.

We are all a family who adhere to each other's standards of excellence in everything we do. When I say it's a family, I really mean it. HBCUs are known for spreading love and making sure everyone is successful. It's about the success of the generations, that "legacy, legacy, legacy, legacy, black excellence (we) let them see". (Call Hov for this bar at 4:44 am).

And just like any family, it can get competitive at times. For Hampton it is the fight for the real HU title against Howard University. In the & # 39; 01-02 season, we got the two-for-one deal from Howard. Not only did we win the real HU title, we also won the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference title after beating Howard (80-62). Oh, and by the way, we still have the right HU title at the moment.

Still, it's a family get-together every time we bond and play Howard. It's all love, laughter, and testimony. Trust me, it's in our DNA to find ways to show up and have fun. Just browsing with Google Hampton Swag will give you a taste of how we turned up. Even Drake knows the mood: "I must have gone to Clark with bands like me, went to Hampton."

Our band, The Force, get the place going when they perform at halftime. People can tell you what the halftime performance was like before they can tell the game's bottom line. Ultimately, it's about creating a lighted and memorable environment and expanding the culture.

I love my HBCU! Participating in Hampton is one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. I'm learning more and more about my history, culture and the nature of my support system. The Hampton family drives students to be successful in their careers and in life because it is for the culture. Check out what Bad Boys Detroit Pistons forward and Hampton graduate Rick Mahorn did for his teammates in 1989. Mahorn stepped forward, looked out, and did everything for his teammates. Hampton definitely had an impact on Mahorn's mentality on the pitch because that's just our DNA.

Our goal is to put ourselves in successful positions, not only for ourselves, but also to open up opportunities for others. This is what Hampton University teaches us whether you're in the field or not. If you know you know.

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Keion Cage is a junior major in strategic communication with a minor in leadership studies at Hampton University. He's from Houston, Texas.

In honor of Black History Month, SLAM partnered with 19Nine to bring out four retro shorts from monumental seasons when the Eagles, Bison, Pirates and Maroon Tigers put their schools on the map.

They are now available at SLAMgoods.

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