Jack Harlow pledges $500,000 to two Kentucky HBCUs
Kentucky State University and Simmons College of Kentucky will receive funds from the 'What's Poppin'' rapper and Kentucky native
Jack Harlow has pledged to donate $500,000 to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in his home state of Kentucky after the rapper came out victorious in a celebrity basketball game.
The platinum-selling artist announced the move on his Twitter page last Saturday, saying that the funds would go to Kentucky State University and Simmons College of Kentucky. The “What’s Poppin'” is a native of Louisville, Kentucky.
“I’ll be donating $500k to Kentucky State University and Simmons College of Kentucky,” Harlow wrote in a quote retweet including a photo of him holding a Black duffel bag full of cash standing with Migos rapper Quavo.
The “Tyler Herro” rapper was paired up with Quavo to play in a celebrity 2-on-2 pickup basketball game that took place during the NBA All-Star weekend in Atlanta last weekend. Harlow and Quavo were matched up against fellow rappers Lil Baby and 2Chainz, winning 21-7, according to The Courier-Journal.
Although Harlow didn’t choose his teammate, he told Uproxx that he was “very happy” to be paired with the “Bad and Boujie” rapper based on his past experience playing in celebrity basketball events, stating that he “brings something to the game” that Harlow does not.
The game was presented by Bleacher Report, who provided both a $500,000 cash prize to the winning team as well as pledged an additional $500,000 to be donated to a HBCU of the players’ choice.
Dr. Christopher Brown III, Kentucky State University president, said that he was “quite pleased” that Harlow chose his school to donate to.
“I was pleased to see Kentucky State was on his mind, just as much as he’s on Kentucky State University’s,” Brown said in The Courier-Journal, indicating that there have been talks previously with student government about Harlow coming to campus for an appearance.
While it has yet to be stated how Harlow will be distributing the donation between Kentucky State and Simmons College, or what departments they will be used for, Brown said that the institution would be methodical about how the funds will be used.
“Our first priority is always the direct benefit of students,” Brown said, “whether that be by way of scholarships for completion — so that students can manage the cost of attendance — or to provide professional development, access speakers and internship opportunities to students so that they are career ready for the workforce.”
Bleacher Report‘s celebrity game was just one of the events during the NBA All-Star Weekend that benefitted HBCUs. The NBA announced that the main event, the annual all-star game putting the league’s top-performing players on one court, would also support Black colleges.
Each team played for a college fund. Team LeBron, picked by Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, represented The Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Team Durant, picked by Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, represented The United Negro College Fund, according to CNN.
Team LeBron came out on top, 170-150, leading to a $1.25 million donation to the Thurgood Marshall Fund and a $500,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund.
In total, $3 million in donations was pledged to HBCUs during NBA All-Star Weekend events.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated that having the festivities were held in Atlanta because of the wellspring of HBCUs located in the area, including Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University.
“It was part of the reason why we’re here in Atlanta,” Silver said. “This was an opportunity to focus on the HBCUs.”
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