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NBA Legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand Will Join ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith in Wilmington on Friday, September 20 to Celebrate HBCU Week

Post Date:09/05/2019 4:30 PM

ESPN’s “First Take” will broadcast live from the 76ers Fieldhouse during the third annual Wilmington HBCU College Fair

Mayor Mike Purzycki announced today that NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and the General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers and former manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, Elton Brand, will join HBCU Week Ambassador Stephen A. Smith for a live broadcast of ESPN’s “First Take,” at the 76ers Fieldhouse on Friday, September 20, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The broadcast will air during the 2019 HBCU College Fair being held in the same building as part of Wilmington’s #HBCUWEEK2019, which runs from Sunday, September 15 through Saturday, September 21.
“We’re very excited that Magic Johnson and Elton Brand will join us for this year’s HBCU Week,” said the Mayor. “A three-time NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, among many other accomplishments, Johnson has had a long and storied career both on and off the court. His participation, together with our friend Elton Brand and our official Wilmington HBCU Week Ambassador Stephen A. Smith, will help to focus even more attention on this important week of activities – the third annual College Fair in particular, which is really the crux of this week-long series of events.”
The Mayor said the main goal of the City’s annual celebration has always been to create more and more opportunities for Wilmington’s young people to attend college. To this end, the College Fair has invited more than 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities to participate in this year’s Fair at the 76ers Fieldhouse, 401 Garasches Lane. As many as 4,000 high school students are expected to attend.
“Last year more than 1,500 students attended the College Fair and nearly 700 received college offers,” Mayor Purzycki continued. “Of those 700, some were admitted to an HBCU on the spot, and more than 225 students received offers of scholarship assistance totaling over $1 million.  That’s up from 2017, when 120 out of 700 student attendees received on-the-spot college acceptance. As we increase the number of young people who attend college, we are forever changing young lives and our communities for the better, and we anticipate even more success stories in 2019.” 
Magic Johnson and Elton Brand will join ESPN’s Smith and co-hosts Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim Rose for the live Wilmington broadcast of their weekday morning sports talk show, “First Take.” The crew will also be joined by bands from Delaware State University – Delaware’s only HBCU – and Winston-Salem State University. Doors will open at 7:00 a.m. with the taping scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m.
Another returning highlight from last year’s HBCU Week is the wildly popular HBCU Battle of the Bands that attracted nearly 7,000 people to Frawley Stadium in 2018 at the conclusion of the week. The 2019 battle will be hosted by Blake Saunders and feature bands from Lincoln University, Winston-Salem State University, Hampton University and North Carolina A&T State University.  Doors open at 2:00 p.m. and performances begin at 3:00 p.m.
The Mayor again thanked the HBCU Week 2019 sponsors including Presenting Sponsor JP Morgan Chase, as well as The Chemours Company and ESPN (Diamond Sponsors), Live Nation Urban (Platinum Sponsor), Delaware State University and 38/15 Media (Gold Sponsors), Toyota (Bronze Sponsor), and the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau (Silver Sponsor).
2019 HBCU events planned for September 15 through 21 include:

HBCU Celebration Church Service
Where: Bethel AME Church, 504 North Walnut Street
When: Sunday, September 15, 2019, at 10:45 a.m. 
NOTE: Congregation members are encouraged to wear HBCU or Greek Paraphernalia

HBCU-Themed Day PartyWhere: DE.CO, 111 West 10th Street
When: Sunday, September 15, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. 
NOTE: The space will be decorated according to the HBCU theme. A signature drink will be available along with food. Purchase tickets at

7th and 8th Grade College Tour
Where: Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware
When: Tuesday, September 17, 2019; depart Wilmington at 9:00 a.m., leave Dover at 1:30 p.m.

Currency Conversation with JP Morgan Chase
Where: The Queen, 500 North Market Street 
When: Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.
NOTE:  Register to attend at
HBCU Alumni Professional Networking Reception
Where: The Queen, 500 North Market Street 
When: Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. 

R&B Concert hosted by Blake Saunders, featuring Ari Lennox
Where: The Queen, 500 North Market Street 
When: Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at 8:30 p.m.Tickets available at
NOTE:  Tickets available at
My HBCU Experience Panel Discussion
Where: The Delaware Contemporary, 200 South Madison Street 
When: Thursday, September 19, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. 

ESPN “First Take” Live Broadcast featuring Stephen A. Smith
Where: The 76ers Fieldhouse, 401 Garasches Lane
When: Friday, September 20, 2019; doors open at 7:00 a.m., taping starts at 10:00 a.m.
This is a FREE event.  Please arrive early, as attendees will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.  Tickets are not needed.

City of Wilmington HBCU College Fair
Where: The 76ers Fieldhouse, 401 Garasches Lane
When: Friday, September 20, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Schools attending include Cheyney University, Lincoln University, Norfolk State University, DSU, Virginia State University, Howard University, Hampton University, Benedict College, and more
NOTE:  We are expecting 30+ HBCU’s and 4,000 kids to attend.  Along with HBCU presence, a few companies will be present to engage the students, offering summer internship and post-graduation job opportunities.  Please come with plenty of copies of your SAT/ACT Score, transcript and resume!  Register to attend at

HBCU Battle of the Bands hosted by Blake Saunders, featuring DJ Bran
Where: Daniel S. Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive 
When: Saturday, September 21, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. (Doors open at 2:00 p.m.)

Questions about the 2019 City of Wilmington HBCU Week should be directed to Ashley Christopher at or 302.576.2110, or Earl Cooper at or 302.576.2133. For more information and a complete schedule of events, please visit: http://www.hbcuweek.orgHBCU Week Logo


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