UIW Basketball Dedicates Games to “Black Out for Black History”

February 16, 2024

Basketball player shooting ball into hoopOn Feb. 8 and 12, the UIW women’s and men’s basketball teams traded in their red and white T-shirts and jerseys to don black ones. This deliberate change in attire was made to celebrate the annual Black Out for Black History games and UIW Athletics’ Equality and Inclusion initiative.

Student-athletes and coaches could be seen with the phrase “Black History is Our History” written across their chests as they warmed up for their respective games. UIW community members such as external staff, game operations crew members, and the UIW Spirit team also participated in the black out.

Kenyon Spears, senior associate athletic director of external relations, attended both games and was excited to see how the initiative turned out. Spears also leads the Athletics department’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

“The purpose of these games was to support our basketball programs with initiatives through UIW DiversityBasketball player and Inclusion,” he explained. “We wanted to bring awareness for Black History Month and share the message that ‘Black History is Our History’ too.”

Black out shirts were also given away to attending family members, friends and fans so that they too could show their support and celebrate Black History Month. Several fans even called after the games in the hopes that there were available shirts left over for them to receive.

Spears witnessed many positive reactions at the games and appreciated the amount of support expressed.

“I loved seeing the support from coaching staff, student-athletes, fans, faculty and administration. UIW Diversity and Inclusion wants to support and bring awareness to initiatives that are important to our student athletes and teams,” expressed Spears.

The teams' observation of Black History Month also meant a great deal to the student-athletes who participated in the games:

"Black History Month means giving and showing recognition to the Black individuals who paved the way for us now. These individuals were strong, brave and determined to make a difference and I greatly appreciate them for it and will continue the fight," shared Destiny Terrell, UIW women's basketball team member.

"It was an opportunity to show that the team and program wanted to respect Black History Month and bring attention to the Black community by showing that 'Black History IS Our History',"  said Lamin Sabally, UIW men's basketball team member.

Click here for more upcoming Black History Month happening on campus.