Wednesday, May 22, 2024

- Events to Take Place on December 19-20 at the Mohegan Sun Arena - 


SPRINGFIELD, MASS.  The Chris Paul Family Foundation and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced the merging of the HBCU Tip-Off and Challenge into the exciting Chris Paul HBCU Challenge, set to take place on December 19-20 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.


For the first time in their four-year history, both HBCU events will take place concurrently at the same venue. This new event structure enables the Chris Paul Family Foundation and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to celebrate the HBCU culture in one location, bringing the authentic atmosphere of HBCU basketball into the Mohegan Sun.


Thursday, December 19

Norfolk State vs. Alabama State

Delaware State vs. Grambling


Friday, December 20

Norfolk State vs. Grambling

Delaware State vs. Alabama State



Thursday, December 19

Kentucky State vs. Benedict

Lincoln (Penn.) vs. Winston Salem State


Friday, December 20




"Chris Paul's unwavering advocacy for HBCU athletes reflects his deep commitment to their empowerment and success. The Basketball Hall of Fame is honored to collaborate with Chris to promote opportunities for these talented student-athletes,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. “We eagerly anticipate bringing all eight teams and their fans together under one roof at Mohegan Sun Arena in December and bringing HBCU culture to New England."


Paul, an active philanthropist and entrepreneur, has actively supported HBCUs for years. He currently serves on President Joe Biden's advisory board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Paul executive produced Why Not Us: North Carolina Central Basketball, Why Not Us: FAMU Football, and Why Not Us: Southern Dance and Why Not Us: Grambling University Dance on ESPN+. In addition, Paul partnered with Harvard Business School to bring its Entertainment, Media and Sports program to select HBCUs to develop a pipeline for students pursuing careers in those industries. He launched HBCU voting initiatives to encourage students to vote during the past election and partnered with Sour Patch Kids and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to create The Mischief for Change Scholarship, a college scholarship fund with a $1 million commitment over the next five years for students attending HBCUs. In 2022, Paul graduated with a degree from Winston-Salem State University.


“I'm excited to continue to grow the game of basketball through our HBCU tournaments,” said Paul. “These games present a unique opportunity for student athletes to play on a national stage and receive their well deserved recognition. Collaborating with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Mohegan Sun, and our partners provides the commitment needed to support HBCU schools and student athletes.”


Tickets for both brackets of the 2024 Chris Paul HBCU Challenge will go on sale on Friday, September 6, via Ticketmaster and on sale at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office starting Saturday, September 7. Fans need to purchase separate tickets for each bracket.


Details surrounding the game time, broadcast information, and credentials will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit


Quotes from Participating Head Coaches

"We are honored to participate in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and Chris Paul Foundation’s HBCU Challenge. This event provides us with the opportunity to play on the national stage and showcase our talents and university. These two organizations are committed to honoring and preserving the history of basketball, and we are excited to be a part of it." – Stan Waterman, Delaware State


“It’s exciting to be invited to the Chris Paul HBCU Challenge again. We have had success in this event before, and we are honored to be back!” – Robert Jones, Norfolk State


“When you hear The Basketball Hall of Fame and Chris Paul, the word that comes to mind is Greatness! I think everyone understands the significance of The Basketball Hall of Fame and there is no doubt Chris Paul will be a Hall of Famer as one of the best point guards ever. Under the leadership of Dr. Ross and Dr. Cable, Alabama State University is honored to be one of the HBCUs chosen to participate in such an amazing event. What Chris Paul and his Family’s Foundation have done to put a national spotlight on HBCUs is unmatched. Alabama State University is honored and blessed to represent the city of Montgomery and Hornet Nation across the country in this outstanding and meaningful event.” – Tony Madlock, Alabama State 


“It is an honor to be a part of the Chris Paul HBCU Challenge.  This is our second time having an opportunity to compete in this incredible event.  This event showcases and highlights some of the best HBCU Basketball programs in the country each year.  I really appreciate Chris Paul & his foundation for giving back and making this HBCU challenge a yearly event.” – Donte' Jackson, Grambling


“We appreciate being able to represent Kentucky State University at the Chris Paul Foundation and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame HBCU Challenge. As the head coach and an alum of Kentucky State University, it is an honor to compete in this year’s event. Chris Paul is a huge supporter of HBCUs, and we appreciate him and everyone who has helped to make what will be a great experience for our players and staff come to fruition.” – Jamaal Jackson, Kentucky State


“We first would like to thank The Chris Paul Family Foundation and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for inviting Benedict College Men's Basketball Program to Uncasville, Connecticut, to participate in this amazing event. Our administration, coaching staff, and student-athletes look forward to competing at a high level while being amid so much basketball history and tradition. We value and appreciate this opportunity and look forward to seeing you all in Uncasville!” – Artis Maddox, Benedict College


“We are honored to have this opportunity to be in the HBCU Challenge I have been a fan of the event since the classic launched a few years ago. This classic brings four of the best teams in HBCU basketball to an ESPN audience. We are excited to compete, to be a part of the classic's history, and grateful that our university and student athletes will get this experience on a national stage.” – Keyshawn McMahon, Lincoln University


“We are super excited to return to play in the HBCU Challenge. It is the highlight event of our season! We look forward to showing up and bringing the C.E. Gaines energy back to Connecticut.” – Cleo Hill Jr, Winston-Salem State


About Chris Paul

Affectionately known as the Point God, Chris Paul is a twelve-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold medalist. He was recently named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team as one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history. In 2021, Paul became the first player in league history to record 20,000 points and 10,000 assists in their career. He ranks third on the NBA all-time career assists list. Paul recently completed his 19th season in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors and has previously played with the Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans Hornets. 


Off the court, he’s a father, husband, entrepreneur, activist, author, and philanthropist. He served as the former President of the National Basketball Players Association from 2013 until 2021. 


His production company, Ohh Dip!!! Productions, creates content across multiple platforms, and Paul has executive produced projects including Chapter 3, Crossroads, The Game Changers, Blackballed, Why Not Us: NC Central Men’s Basketball, The Day Sports Stood Still, American Sole, Why Not Us: FAMU Football, Why Not Us: Southern Dance, Why Not Us: Grambling Dance, and PlayersTV’s Front Office shows.


His recent New York Times best-selling memoir, Sixty-One: Life Lessons from Papa, On and Off the Court, is a powerful and unexpected memoir of family, faith, tragedy, and life's most important lessons. 


Paul's business footprint is diverse with a portfolio which includes, minority ownership of the Indian Premier League's Rajasthan Royals and the Winston-Salem Dash in his home state of North Carolina, as well as the owner of the CP3 Basketball Academy.  His Team CP3 AAU teams currently has 14 players in the NBA.


Paul's long standing relationships with brands such as State Farm Insurance and Jordan Brand are also worthy accomplishments. Paul founded Good Eatn, a plant based healthy snack brand, and a number of other healthier for you products.


The Chris Paul Family Foundation continues to provide resources that enrich and strengthen underserved communities across the country through its Club 61 Leadership Alliance and the accredited HBCU Business of Entertainment Media and Sports class at NC A&T and Southern University.  


Paul co-launched the Social Change Fund United with Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, which is dedicated to investing in and supporting organizations focused on empowering communities of color and advocating for basic human rights and liberties.  He serves on President Joe Biden's advisory board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 


His philanthropic efforts have earned him the 2016 ESPYs “Humanitarian of the Year” award, the 2016 Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award, the NBA Community Assist Award five times.  Chris is also the first recipient of the Kobe and Gigi Bryant Advocacy Award for his significant contributions to the advancement of girls' and women's basketball, and advocacy for the WNBA.


About the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 450 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits, and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit, follow @hoophallUor call 1-877-4HOOPLA.