Since its establishment in 2020, the NBA and NBA Foundation have worked to create greater economic opportunity for Black youth with programming that spans STEM education, career development and professional mentorship and networking. Their work to support HBCU students is especially inspiring. As a proud alumni of Morehouse College, I know firsthand how important these institutions are; providing a wide range of opportunities for underrepresented students and shaping future captains of industry.
At Google, we share the same goals of creating access to opportunity and making information accessible to everyone. Today, we’re announcing a $1 million contribution to the Foundation to support the NBA HBCU Fellowship Program and other initiatives — the largest contribution to date from an NBA partner. Google Pixel will contribute $500,000 to the Foundation, and the remaining funding will come from sales of Pixel phones in the Google Store starting today through December 26.
NBA teams and the league office will select students to take part in a 10-week summer internship. The first 60 fellows selected for the program completed their fellowship in August and had the opportunity to work in various roles, from ticket sales and corporate partnerships to legal and social responsibility and marketing. The experience provided these students hands-on experience and tactical skills and demonstrated the importance of networking. Applications for the 2023 NBA HBCU Fellowship will open in January 2023.
Pixel — which is the official NBA fan phone — sponsored the league’s first HBCU Classic during NBA All-Star Weekend earlier this year, which gave student-athletes from Howard University and Morgan State University a national stage to showcase their talents. The players were also featured in a Google commercial that aired throughout All-Star Weekend and beyond, which included photos taken of them on a Pixel with Real Tone.
We’ve long supported HBCUs and their students to drive more inclusivity and representation, especially in tech. From the $50 million grant in 2021 to 10 HBCUs to support scholarships, technical infrastructure for in-class and remote learning and more to a $5 million Google.org grant last month to Spelman College’s Center for Minority Women in STEM, I look forward to continuing our support of HBCUs and related NBA initiatives throughout the season.