From Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton to Sam Jones to Willis Reed to Earl “The Pearl” Monroe to Bob Love to Anthony Mason to Charles Oakley to Ben Wallace, it used to be commonplace to see players from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the NBA All-Star Game. But today, it’s rare to see an HBCU player in the NBA at all.
There is only one HBCU player left among the 30 teams: Portland Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington, who starred at Tennessee State.
“That’s a little disturbing,” Wallace told The Undefeated. “Most of us HBCUs, we’re scorers or specialists. The league has shifted to shooters and that has weeded out a lot of the HBCU players.”
Last season, Covington had company in then-Philadelphia 76ers center Kyle O’Quinn, who went to Norfolk State. But in January, O’Quinn signed as a free agent with Fenerbahce Beko in Turkey.
“I definitely have to hold it down and keep it rolling for the next couple years, too,” Covington said. “I really don’t know why I am the only one. I think it’s because of the opportunity that I had and the situation. I was a taller guy with a skill set that is unique. [HBCU players] don’t really get the exposure. My junior and senior…