Actor Michael B. Jordan announced that he’s decided to partner with WME Sports, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and Scout Sports and Entertainment/Horizon Media, to launch the inaugural The Hoop Dreams Classic, a HBCU college basketball showcase, in his hometown of Newark, NJ.
Jordan made the announcement on Wednesday, December 16.
“This past year has been the tipping point for so many, including myself, in revving up support for Black people,” said Jordan in a statement.
“As a Newark native, I am committed to bringing change to the community and am honored to be able to present The Hoop Dreams Classic as a way to celebrate the value of community, education, and Black college experiences. Through our shared love of basketball, I look forward to bringing the communal spirit of HBCUs to the city that helped shape me into the man I am today.”
Set to take place on December 18, 2021, at the Prudential Center in Jordan’s hometown Newark, New Jersey, the event will be a four-team, two-game showcase in both men’s and women’s college basketball featuring HBCU teams.
The event will also feature a Battle of the Bands, career and college opportunities, culinary events, film festivals, live musical performances and aspects of HBCU culture.
Hoop Dreams CEO Jessica Estrada released a statement, saying, “After seeing firsthand the lack of resources and information available to basketball players, I was determined to make Hoop Dreams the vehicle that could provide the tools these kids need to be successful in life beyond the game.” She added, “Michael and I share similar foundations and visions for our communities, which is why I am thrilled to partner with him.”
A part of the proceeds from the event will support organizations focused on advancing HBCUs and the Newark community.
“Michael challenged us and encouraged us to make the same impact we are with #ChallengeHollywood, and it fits perfectly with what and who we are,” said Jordan Bazant, WME Sports co-head Bazant.
“What about sports? What about music? ... Talking to other partners, they were doing their own things and challenging themselves, so we said, why don’t we come together like we have in the past to make a bigger impact? It’s the next step and next generation for #ChangeHollywood.”