Carmelo Anthony, Jordan Brand Announce 32 Wings Scholarship Recipients

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

DENVER - FEBRUARY 18:  The Air Jordan logo at the Air Jordan XX Launch Party at Rise Nightclub on February 18, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

"We are the Jordan family, and in this family, no one flies alone." 

That is how Jordan Brand President Craig Williams ended his letter announcing the latest recipients of the Wings scholarship for the class of 2024. On Wednesday, Jordan Brand will provide four-year and full-ride scholarships to 32 students from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte and Portland.

"I never thought I would have the opportunity to go anywhere I could imagine," Gionna Clift, one of the Jordan Wings scholars for 2024, said. "Without the financial burden, my possibilities are endless. I can focus on the other aspects of college life instead of worrying about how it will be paid for. This is something I only could imagine, and now that it has come true, it's almost unreal."

The announcement also included a video narrated by Jordan Brand family member Carmelo Anthony in which the 10-time All-Star encourages the recipients to "embrace optimism, exercise curiosity ... and forever change the game."

The video also includes a clip of Chris Paul revealing the news to those who were chosen.

"The Jordan Brand Wings' mission is to empower youth and level the playing field through education, mentorship and access," Anthony said at the start of the video.

"This award will open so many opportunities for me to continue my academic career and amount to my greatest potential as a student and individual," Nicholas Popolo, another one of the scholars, said. "I know that this award can help me get to a place where I can change the lives of others, just as the Jordan Wings Program has changed mine."

Williams' letter highlights how Michael Jordan's parents stressed the importance of education long before the Chicago Bulls legend reached the University of North Carolina, which is one reason the Jordan Brand has funded 1,800 students over the last six years in China and the United States through the Wings Scholars program.

"The Jumpman logo started as a representation of one man, but now it represents all of us," the letter said. "We've all seen what happens when the world unites. When we give what we have as individuals to achieve something bigger than ourselves. The past several months have shown us the power of our global community and a passion that transcends cultural and regional boundaries."

In addition to the scholarships, the students will receive resources throughout their college careers, such as one-on-one mentorship and internship sourcing.