DJ Jubilee, Casme, Alcorn University Drumline, DJ Antwigadee, Wild Wayne, Reaux Fareal, and several others brought energy to the arena. The National Anthem was sang beautifully by Sharandall Lewis, a Dillard University Alumni. She set the tone for the night.
Students and Alumni from various HBCU's packed the NBA Arena out including supporters from Southern University, Alcorn University, Fisk, Tuskegee, Grambling, Dillard, Xavier, Hampton, Morehouse, Spelman College, Prairie View, FAMU and even supporters from as far as Bethune-Cookman attended the game.
Perhaps the highlight of the night was a tribute to the HBCU Divine 9. Every Greek organization in the D9 were represented on the court and gave the crowd a thrill.
David Griffin, Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations for the New Orleans Pelicans, is a huge supporter of youth. He made it possible for one Slidell High School Basketball Player to meet his favorite Pelicans Player, Jose Alvarado.
Cadence Wright is a 16 year old basketball player at Slidell High School who was struggling last season, on the court and in the classroom. He said watching Jose Alvarado come off the bench and be the energy the team needs has made him realize everybody has a part to play on a team but also in life. "All you can control is what you bring to the table", said Wright. Cadence has not only lifted his grades to honor status this year but he also works an after school job at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans to save money to go to Southern University when he graduates next year. The young man also owns his own t-shirt printing business.
When Griffin heard the young man's story he set it up for him to meet Jose Alvarado.
Alvarado told the young man, "You never know what path life is going to take you. The best thing you can do is learn everything you can learn along the way and be prepared for whatever comes. Sometimes, things don't go as we plan. They just might go better than we plan and you have to be open minded and ready to see where the journey is taking you."
Alvarado was so impressed with the teen that he invited CJ McCullum and Tre Murphy to come meet him as well.
The Parlay Foundation sponsored 25 teens to attend the HBCU Night and witness the HBCU experience for the third consecutive year.