2021 NBA All-Star Events to Generate $3M in Donations for HBCUs, Communities

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2021

FILE- In this Aug. 28, 2020, file photo, Black Lives Matter is displayed near the NBA logo in an empty basketball arena in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. NBA training camps open around the league Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, though on-court sessions will be limited to individual workouts and only for those players who have gotten three negative coronavirus test results back in the last few days.   (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool, File)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The NBA announced details regarding the 2021 All-Star Game's support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and communities disparately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Tuesday.  

As part of the $3 million fund, which is in partnership with AT&T, Kia, Mountain Dew, State Farm and Taco Bell, the All-Star Game and skills competitions will provide support for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and Direct Relief's Fund for Health Equity.

"As a founding partner of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the NBA has been a consistent supporter for more than 33 years," Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO, Dr. Harry L. Williams said. "By dedicating its All-Star platform to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the NBA is making a profound statement about the league's commitment to a better future, recognizing the crucial role Black Colleges have always played in facilitating racial equity and serving the African American community."

The two All-Star teams, captained by LeBron James and Kevin Durant, will represent either the TMCF or UNCF. Both organizations work to provide scholarships to HBCU students.

The NBA will donate $500,000 to both organizations as a minimal contribution, with an additional $150,000 going to the winner of each of the first three quarters. The team that reaches the fourth-quarter target score receives an additional $300,000.

James and Durant will select their organizations Thursday as part of the All-Star draft.

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The Slam Dunk Contest will see three participants paired with an HBCU "to provide financial support that will benefit students, faculty or programs that address emergency aid, technology needs, food insecurities and mental health services exacerbated by the pandemic." 

Each of the players will receive a minimum $50,000 donation to the school, and an additional $100,000 will be given to the winner. Every dunk that takes place during the All-Star Game will result in a $5,000 donation to the TMCF by AT&T, and the company will provide a $100,000 contribution for the three dunkers in the contest. 

In addition, State Farm will donate $1,900 to the UNCF for each assist during the All-Star Game, and Kia will donate a car to the organization of the winning team.

Six Skills Challenge participants will head to the All-Star festivities, each of whom will represent an HBCU and students from that state. Those players will receive $35,000 apiece to send to the state's UNCF Emergency Student Aid program, with an additional $40,000 going to the winner.

Mountain Dew will award $100,000 in scholarships to two HBCU students during the broadcast of the Three-Point Contest, in addition to donations of $3,500 for each made "moneyball" shot and $5,000 for each made shot in the MTN DEW Zone during the contest. 

The challenges and All-Star Game are set to be held March 7 in Atlanta.