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LeMoyne-Owen College's Wells & Lawrence Participate In NBA-HBCU Showcase

LeMoyne-Owen College
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on August 04, 2022

LeMoyne-Owen College head men's basketball coach Bonzi Wells and former Magician Jaquan Lawrence were both participants in the first-ever NBA-HBCU Showcase.

What started as just an idea of Coach Wells, turned into a showcase that included former NBA players who are now HBCU head coaches. Mo Williams, represented Jackson State University, Reggie Theus represented Bethune-Cookman, and former NBA lottery pick Kenny Anderson represented Fisk University. "It was an awesome event that I think will get bigger and better each year, it was a pleasure to represent LeMoyne-Owen College and I'm already looking forward to next year", said Magicians head coach Bonzi Wells.

The NBA featured 28 HBCU basketball players in the 2022 NBA x HBCU Showcase in Las Vegas on July 11. Earlier this year, several players participated in Travis Williams' HBCU All-Star game in New Orleans on April 3. Currently, the league is trying to increase the number of players from HBCU schools. Major leagues - NFL, NBA, MLB - have listened to the outcry from fans and experts because HBCU athletes are not being drafted, and many are not invited to tryouts. Recently, NFL teams drafted four athletes.



However, the NBA and MLB did not select an HBCU player in their recent drafts. Today, Robert Covington remains the lone HBCU player in the NBA.

The objective of the game was to give the NBA direct exposure to these players with the hope of an invitation to official team tryouts for the NBA or G League (NBA minor league). Former NBA player Shareef Abdur-Rahim oversees the G League as its president. The G League has been responsible for over 100 players to receive invitations to NBA teams with ten-day, two-way, and rest-of-season contracts.

The HBCU event participants have either recently completed their collegiate eligibility or played in the NBA G League, Europe, Israel, or Puerto Rico. The hope of the NBA x HBCU Showcase is for the players to compete before coaches, scouts, and team executives for an opportunity to develop in the G League or NBA-affiliated European leagues.

For Lawrence, this was a cap to an amazing colligate career and another opportunity to be in front of pro scouts. "I think I played really well and im grateful for Coach Wells and the NBA, giving me this opportunity", said Lawrence. Jaquan was the SIAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-SIAC honors this past season.

SOURCE LeMoyne-Owen College
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