Former college basketball and NBA head coach Avery Johnson laid out a plan for historically black universities (HBCUs) to gain more prominence and national attention within the college basketball world, and it all begins with one word — talent. 

“You get enough really good players going to play at Howard, or Alabama State, or Southern University, or Texas Southern — those guys will be on TV,” Johnson told Andy Katz on the latest episode of March Madness 365. “And if kids know they’re going to play on national TV that’s going to be a big thing because their social media platforms will increase.” 

Two talented players made the jump to a HBCU recently when Howard University landed top recruit Makur Maker and Purdue transfer Nojel Eastern. 

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Johnson’s interview begins at about the 26:45 mark of the podcast. Virginia’s Sam Hauser and Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski were also on this episode of March Madness 365. 

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Recruiting talent is just the beginning, Johnson told Katz — developing that talent into NBA players is the next step in catching the nation’s eyes. 

“As they develop more NBA players, then when those NBA players sign those $100 and $200 million contracts and they want to give back to their schools, now they’re going to start giving back to those HBCU schools,” Johnson said. 

“It’s not going to be an anomaly. It just takes some kids to be bold for it to work. So I just think it has to be proven, kids have to have a really great experience and I think if you can prove the concept, it can work … Because of the power of television and social media wherever you go, the NBA will find you, and if you’re a first-round draft pick, you’re a first-round draft pick whether you go to Southern University or Duke.”


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