NBA veteran George Lynch, along with Atlanta business entrepreneur Tracey Pennywell, is launching a national computer campaign to support student athletes who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The COVID-19 virus has forced colleges and universities into virtual learning nationwide for the remainder of the semester. Millions of students are forced into “distance learning” programs. For many minority students, working online may be a challenge, as some lack laptops and even WIFI to continue with their at-home curriculum.
“I’ve witnessed dozens of student athletes scramble during this pandemic to get laptops to take home,” says George Lynch, former NBA player and head coach of Clark Atlanta University’s men’s basketball team. “Many of them were using school resources and now they have to find their own. Something has to be done.”
Lynch and Pennywell joined forces to launch HBCU Heroes, a nonprofit that raises the bar and funding for HBCU athletic programs. “Our goal is to ensure ALL HBCU athletes have the resources to help them compete academically and athletically,” says Tracey Pennywell, co-founder of HBCU Heroes.
JPMorgan Chase Bank has already donated funding to support this computer drive via its Advancing Black Pathways Initiative. That enabled HBCU Heroes to donate several laptops to Grambling State University for its student-athletes.
“Our students are determined to give this semester their best in spite of the dramatic shift to online learning from home. We are grateful for HBCU Heroes for helping us provide them with the technology they need,” said Richard Gallot, President of Grambling State University.
HBCU Heroes’ mission is to provide a minimum of 6,000 donated computers. Other HBCUs are in line for upcoming computer donations. The nonprofit has also created a consortium of athletes and entertainers who have joined forces with them to support this initiative. “It’s important that we do not allow HBCU students to be affected inadvertently by this pandemic. By supplying computers for these students, HBCU Heroes is keeping them properly equipped during these ever-changing times,” said Everson Walls, former Dallas Cowboys player who also won an NFL Super Bowl with the NY Giants.