By Marquette Walker
Choosing a historically Black College and University (HBCU) culture over a predominately white institution (PWI) experience is a huge move in today’s world. It inspires tomorrow’s leaders to question why that’s the case.
Kennedy Wibert, a center on the Tennessee State University men’s football team, and Se’Quoia Allmond, a point guard at Jackson State University, defied all odds.
Allmond is the first top 100 ESPN girls basketball player in the country to play for an HBCU and is obsessed with creating her wave.
“I think it means a lot ‘cause it opens a lot of doors for young athletes, and they see that they don’t have to always do what they see everyone else doing; they can create their path or own journey,” said Allmond regarding her choosing an HBCU over her Power 5 offers.
The quality of these statements isn’t often considered when choosing schools, and few are willing to take the risk.
“I wanna be a four-time champion coming out of Jackson (State),” Allmond said. Her goals were already in place before making this decision, as she also plans on expanding her brand Certified Bucket Get (CBG) in college.
Wilbert led Middle College High School to their first Regional Championship in his senior year in 2019. Afterward, he received his offer from TSU. Rod Reed led the team as head coach, and now they have Eddie George taking over the position.
“We have all the hype in the world right now. Everybody’s talking about Tennessee State, all eyes are on us right now, and our main goal is just to win the national championship,” Wilbert said.
The most common idea is that these students want to play ball and live out their dreams. Everybody wants to get paid, but to get paid, you have to master your craft.
“When I took my first visit here, it felt like home,” Wilbert said. He made that clear because this is his sophomore year, and he will be a junior in his second semester because of the extra summer classes he took while training as a Division I athlete.
“I got weights in the morning. After weights, it’s practice. After practice, it’s class. After class, I go to the cafe or whatever to replenish my body,” said Wibert, recalling his schedule. “Then I go to another class, and then after that class, I have meetings later on that evening, (and) after those meetings I come in my room to do my homework.”
Often we hear from the coaches or athletic directors, but this is mainly Wilbert’s future. As the landscape for student-athletes continues to change, they hope to continue to speak for themselves and let the public know what goes on behind those closed doors.