NBA player Bradley Beal is using the time he has in between games this season to empower youth through education. According to NBA.com, the Washington Wizards player recently took 50 high school students on a tour of Howard University.
The students—who all attend Ron Brown College Preparatory School—were given the opportunity to explore the Washington, D.C.-based historically Black university. Along the tour, the high school students met with student ambassadors, faculty members and the institution’s president Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick to have their questions answered about HBCUs and the Howard University college experience. The tour was a collaborative effort between Beal and the high school. In the past, he’s sponsored trips for Ron Brown College Preparatory School students to visit Salisbury University, Morgan State University and Lincoln University. Beal donated $25,000 that he received from his 2018-19 NBA Cares Community Assist Award to help fund the recent Howard University trip.
Beal says his personal experiences surrounding education inspired him to spearhead the initiative. He attended the University of Florida for one year before being selected by the Wizards as the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. He says that although he hasn’t earned a college degree yet he’s working on it and wants other young men of color to follow suit. “I always tell kids that I have four brothers,” he said in a statement. “The thing that I have against them is that I’m in the NBA, but they all have degrees and I don’t. That’s something that challenges me in a way. I want to get my degree and that’s something I take pride in, especially being a man of color.” He plans on pushing his partnership with the Washington, D.C. high school forward.
Beal isn’t the only NBA player focused on education. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has used his I Promise School as a vessel to provide resources for underprivileged students and their families in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. In 2019, Philadelphia 76ers player Tobias Harris donated $1 million to charities and organizations centered on education.