NBA player LaMelo Ball is paying it forward by supporting students who aspire to pursue careers in the sports management space. According to Sports Illustrated, the Charlotte Hornets guard recently teamed up with the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment at LIU Brooklyn for the creation of a scholarship fund.
Ball will award a four-year scholarship to a student who has excelled academically and is determined to chart a path within the realms of sports management or marketing and communications. The NBA star says he wants to use education as a vessel to empower students to drive change within these industries and beyond. “I want to encourage the next generation of sports executives and leaders to follow their dreams just like I did to make it to the NBA,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “I’m fortunate to have the means and public platform to support others, so I want to do my part and create a lane for a student to get a strong education and be in position to make a meaningful impact in the sports industry.”
Programs like the one launched by Ball are needed as there is a lack of representation in sports management. The New York Times reported there are wide racial disparities across major sports leagues. The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment has put the focus on eliminating barriers standing in the way of entering different industries. In an effort to alleviate the financial burdens faced by students from underserved communities, the school provided scholarships for 25 percent of its inaugural freshman class.
News about Ball’s scholarship initiative comes months after rapstress Megan Thee Stallion provided a student with a full-ride scholarship to the school. “I’m helping my hotties pursue their dreams,” she wrote in a post. “Education has always been important to me.”