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Hawks and Rich Paul Make the 6th Annual HBCU Night Special for Students of the AUC and Atlanta Fans


Rich Paul kicked off the night in a vulnerable and open fireside chat with students representing Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, and Morris Brown College. Photo Credit Ernest Ricks
Rich Paul kicked off the night in a vulnerable and open fireside chat with students representing Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, and Morris Brown College. Photo Credit Ernest Ricks

The Hawks began their sixth annual HBCU night with a fireside chat with one of the hottest agents in all of sports in Rich Paul owner of Klutch Sports. In this private event the room was filled with students from all HBCUs in the Atlanta area, as Morehouse College, Spelman, Morris Brown, and Clark Atlanta were all well represented. The fireside chat, done in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase, was moderated by Bridget Killings, their Managing Director and Head of Community and Business Development. During the interview, Paul shared many stories and life experiences that led him to success in business. He also spoke about the importance of understanding and knowing people. When asked about the experience of having a one on one chat with Rich Paul, Ms. Killings said, "We had the opportunity to hear from Rich Paul as he talked to the HBCU students here in Atlanta... he dropped some gems about life stories and things that you can do to be more successful, overachieving, and really going above and beyond to really believe in yourself and be consistent. We also talked about having integrity and his passion for people, and wanting to really help the community and that's one thing that we are all about at JP Morgan Chase." Killings went on to say, "having an interview with Rich Paul was simply amazing, he touch on a question, and he answered it in so many different ways, dropping so much intellect and knowledge on our HBCU students and the Atlanta community...".


Morehouse was well represented at HBCU Night. Photo Credit Ernest Ricks
Morehouse was well represented at HBCU Night. Photo Credit Ernest Ricks

Paul finished the fireside chat by taking questions from the audience. Killings did an incredible job making sure Paul answered at least one question from every Atlanta HBCU. Each student asked insightful questions. Questions ranged from methods for mastering your craft to the deeper meaning behind the name of Paul's book, "Lucky Me". Killings spoke about the impressive and insightful student questions, " Oh my gosh, I was filled with so much pride, you can tell that those questions were thought out, they were intentional questions and that they were paying attention, because they asked questions that they knew were going to be very passionate and close to Rich Paul's heart". Killings went on to say, "...it just really made me feel so good because you see so many times on TV they talk about our black boys and girls... I call them our kings and our queens, our princes and princesses, they have so much negativity but when you see these students speak with intelligence and confidence it makes me super proud..."


Ms. Camye Mackey, the executive Vice President and Chief People and Diversity Equity and Inclusion officer for the Atlanta Hawks, spoke about the growth of the event and the activities that surrounded the night. "We started this event, and when you started you're wondering, hey is this going to be successful? Are people going to come out and show up? , and every single year they do, so this is the sixth year that we are celebrating our HBCU night and when you think about HBCUs... they are pivotal in our communities this is where black leaders, people of color, they come together they learn, grow, are empowered, are inspired, and go out into the world and do amazing things, when you look at corporate America, you look at the healthcare industry, they're there and they're making amazing decisions in the world.


Ms. Mackey, a Howard graduate also spoke about the activities the Hawks had planned for the crowd during HBCU night. "...We started with the pre-game fireside chat with Rich Paul, we're going to kick off the night with the FAMU choir, at half-time you're going to have Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman dance teams partnering with the Atlanta Hawks drumline, and that's going to be a really good show". Ms. Mackey was not wrong as the dance teams and the drumline did an amazing job wowing the crowd at half-time.



FAMU alum were also well represented at HBCU Night. Photo Credit Ernest Ricks
FAMU alum were also well represented at HBCU Night. Photo Credit Ernest Ricks

The Hawks basketball team also did not disappoint and kept the crowd very engaged as they took on the Toronto Raptors. While the Hawks were down most of the first half only taking the lead briefly in the second quarter, they battled back to take the lead in the third quarter. However, the Hawks had difficulties maintaining that lead throughout the quarter and this would show up again late in the game. Going into the third the similarities in the stats and shooting percentage represented the score as the Hawks and Raptors were almost even in terms of FG %, 3-point %, Blocks, and Rebounds. The one distinguishing stat was in the Free Throw percentages, where deep in the 3rd quarter the Raptors were flawless from the line with 7 of 7 free throws made, and the Hawks were at 56% from the line going 9 for 16 with nearly a minute left in the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter the Raptors led 96-90.


Despite the lost, crowd favorite Bruno Fernando had a great game contributing energy and scoring off the bench. Photo Credit Ernest Ricks
Despite the loss, crowd favorite Bruno Fernando had a great game contributing energy and scoring off the bench. Photo Credit Ernest Ricks

Saddiq Bey led the Hawks in 3 pointers and kept them in the game, going 4 for 6 from 3 point land through three quarters. The Raptors Point Guard Immanuel Quickley really gave the Hawks trouble contributing 24 points to the 107 -100 the Raptors held over the Hawks with 7:28 left in the 4th quarter. Though the Hawks trailed most of the game the thing that kept them in the game was their effort on the boards as they led the rebound race 48-43, deep in the 4th quarter.



Hawks Coach Quin Snyder spoke about being ejected from the game and the factors that contributed to the Hawks loss vs. the Raptors.
Hawks Coach Quin Snyder spoke about being ejected from the game and the factors that contributed to the Hawks loss vs. the Raptors.

Still, one of the issues throughout the night was the lack of efficiency from three-point range, especially for 3-point specialists like Bogdan Bogdanovic who was only 27.3% from three, while Young and Hunter were both 25% and 20% from three respectively, with 4 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter and the Hawks down 112-107. Late in the game, Hunter's three brought the Hawks within two points 114-112. With one minute remaining Saddiq Bey was at the line and his two points brought the game within three points. Kelly Olynyk's drive to the basket and layup put the game back to a 5-point lead for the Raptors. Hunter's late game shooting from the line brought the back to within three points with 18.3 seconds left on the clock and the Hawks having possession. With other chances to tie the game or take the lead the Hawks missed wide-open shots or turned the ball over. With 18 seconds left, another mistake by the Hawks, Murray stepping on the white line while inbounding the ball led the game ending 123-121 in favor of the Raptors.

1 Comment


What a wonderful event.

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