TORRANCE, CA, April 1, 2015 – For the second time in school history, a team of academic stars representing Prairie View A&M University bested 47 teams from America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to win the 26th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament. In addition to taking home the prized HCASC championship title, Prairie View was awarded a $50,000 institutional grant from Honda to support academic programs on campus.
Prairie View’s winning team was comprised of: Joseph M. Dowell, team captain, senior; Brannon A. Billings, senior; Eric Cole Johnston, sophomore; and Chayse Lavallais, freshman.
“Coach Thomas and his team could not be more deserving of this victory,” said George C. Wright, President, Prairie View A&M University. “Prairie View is honored to help shine a light on the ways that HBCUs all across the country are helping young people realize their dreams.”
The seven remaining finalists that qualified for this year’s Elite Eight included Alabama State University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania , Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Central University and Tennessee State University.
“Honda congratulates Prairie View and all of the student competitors, volunteers, staff and fans who helped make this year’s competition truly unforgettable,” said Steve Morikawa, Vice President of Corporate Community Relations, American Honda. “We are very proud of the healthy, competitive spirit that was on full display throughout the event, as well as the enduring bonds that players formed between matches. We hope they all remain friends for life.”
Justin Walker of Livingstone College was named the Ernest C. Jones Sportsperson of the Year. The 2015 coach of the year was Amelia Sellers of Southern University-New Orleans.
Second place finisher Cheyney University-Pennsylvania earned a $25,000 institutional grant, while third and fourth place finishers – Alabama State University and Norfolk State University – earned $15,000 institutional grants. In total, more than $300,000 was awarded to participating HBCUs.
Through programs like HCASC, Honda is not only helping students academically, but building them up for the future, helping position them for career success and welcoming them to a community of alumni and friends. The 2015 HCASC Hall of Fame inductees are: Rev. Mark-Anthony Middleton, North Carolina A&T State University; Monita Bell, Alabama State University; and Daniel Moss, Claflin University.
For pictures, videos and more information on the 2015 HCASC competition, including a full list of the 48 teams that qualified, visit www.hcasc.com. Connect with HCASC on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HCASC), Twitter (www.twitter.com/HCASC) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/hcascpix), using the hashtag #HCASC.
About Honda Campus All-Star Challenge:
Celebrating HBCU excellence, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States. Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $7.5 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of over 100,000 students across 22 states. Through programs like HCASC, Honda is not only helping students academically, but building them up for the future, helping position them for career success.
HCASC’s impressive roster of past participants includes engineers, lawyers, doctors, professors and public servants. A number of high profile former HCASC participants have been inducted into the HCASC Hall of Fame, including Lt. Colonel Myles B. Caggins, III, who participated in four HCASC competitions representing Hampton University. Lt. Colonel Caggins has earned the following military awards and decorations during a distinguished military career: Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal; and Army Achievement Medal.