New York, March 11, 2022 – The New York Knickerbockers, along with presenting partner Chase, will celebrate Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on Tuesday, March 22 when they take on the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. Throughout the evening, the Knicks will come together with students and alumni from various HBCUs to pay homage to these institutions. This night is an extension of MSG Sports’ commitment to HBCUs and their students.
The programming will begin with a pre-game networking opportunity inside The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. As part of this program, Madison Square Garden Entertainment’s Chief Diversity Officer and Morehouse College alumnus Demetrius Thornton will moderate a panel with Knicks Legend, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall-of-Famer and Winston-Salem State University alumnus Earl Monroe and other special guests.
The Knicks and Chase have partnered together on a $25,000 college scholarship that will be presented to a student from an HBCU during an on-court ceremony at the game. Over the years, Madison Square Garden Sports’ has played an important role in the Garden of Dreams Foundation’s Inspire Scholarship program, which has provided college scholarships to several students attending HBCU’s including Howard University, Lincoln University and Clark Atlanta University.
There will be a variety of in-game entertainment elements highlighting HBCUs and their students, including the welcoming public address from current Howard University student and member of the Garden of Dreams Foundation Shawn Smith. The National Anthem will be performed by the Lincoln University Concert Choir alongside the Howard University Color Guard. The Delaware State Marching Band will put on a special halftime performance and there will be a feature story on GardenVision sharing the story of Nitrease Quickley, the mother of Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, from her days as a standout student and basketball player at Morgan State University.
The Knicks have commissioned Howard University student Rachel Motley to design the HBCU Night logo to celebrate the team’s inaugural HBCU Night at Madison Square Garden. This logo will be used across all marketing assets for the night. Motley, a native New Yorker, has also designed the pennant flag that will be given to select fans attending the game. Motley will be featured on Knicks digital channels to help shine a light on her story and design career.
MSG Sports is an active participant in the NBA’s HBCU Fellowship Program, which aims to provide career development opportunities around the business and operations of basketball for undergraduate and graduate students from HBCUs. Our first fellowship participant will begin this Spring in the MSG Sports Business Operations Dept.