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Amid the uprising against racial injustice, a new trend has emerged where several of the nation’s top-recruited Black high school athletes are using their college decisions to make a statement by taking their talents to historically Black colleges and universities. Among those athletes are volleyball standouts Bria and Cimone Woodard. The sister-duo recently committed to playing at Howard University.

The twin sisters initially made a verbal commitment to Texas A&M University, but after deep reflection, the two decided that attending Howard would be a better choice. Although competing in the Southeastern Conference (SEC)—one of the Power 5 conferences—may have put them on a larger stage, they decided they wanted to go to an institution that was rooted in culture and has exceptional academic and athletic programs. “We had to recognize that and decide what we wanted more,” Bria said in a statement. “At first when we went through the recruiting process, we wanted a big conference and a big school. We had to take a step back and see that we can still play at a great school and make more of a decision that is culturally-based. At Howard, we get the best of both worlds – excellent academics and athletics.”

Players on Howard’s women’s volleyball team have made waves in the realm of college sports. In July, recent graduate Jurnee Farrell was selected as a nominee for the 2020 National Collegiate Athletic Association Woman of the Year Award.

News about Bria and Cimone’s decision to attend Howard comes after top high school basketball player Makur Maker shared that he would attend the Washington, D.C.-based school as well. According to The Undefeated, Maker was the first top basketball recruit to share his intent to play at an HBCU since Earl Jones committed to playing at the University of the District of Columbia 40 years ago.


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