Bank$hot gives HBCU students a chance to win big for their schools

Bank$hot gives HBCU students a chance to win big for their schools
September 16
15:00 2020

Bankshot Basketball, home of the first all digital HORSE competition, is giving students currently attending HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) a chance show off their skills for the opportunity to win $20,000. 

The Bank$hot HBCU Challenge is a high stakes competition where students across the country will have the chance to take home $10,000 and win an additional $10,000 for their school’s SGA (Student Government Association). The competition is the brainchild of Russell Morgan, Bank$hot’s director of operations, and his team at Showcase Sports Syndicate (SSS), an organization that hosts various sports leagues. 

In 2019, SSS held the inaugural season of the Showcase Premier Basketball League, a local semi-pro league that features athletes with developmental disabilities. After a successful inaugural season, the league was gearing up for the 2020 season when cases of COVID-19 began to spread across the country and they were forced to cancel the season. 

A few weeks later, Russell and his team began brainstorming ways to reallocate funds for the lost season and the Bank$hot HBCU Classic was born. 

“We are public servants by trade and by heart,” Russell said when discussing the competition. He said as a graduate of Morehouse College, it feels good to be able to give back to the HBCU community. With the pandemic forcing most colleges and universities to cancel homecoming celebrations, Russell said the competition was designed to fill some of that void. 

“There are some challenges that have been noted in the Black community and the HBCU community … so us being able to be a small part of the answers to some of the issues is rewarding,” he continued. “It’s bigger than just the student, it’s filling in the gap. You know, there’s no football season, there aren’t any homecomings, a lot things people are used to and look forward to … and there’s a big question mark there this year, and we designed Bank$hot to fill in a bit of that gap. To add a place where people could connect in some sort of way.”

The “$20,000 HBCU Classic” will be open to more than 100 colleges and universities in 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Bank$hot will select 16 different students to compete in an old fashion game of HORSE. 

Sort of like the game, “Simon Says,” once it’s decided who is the leader or who goes first, that person can take a shot from anywhere on the court. The shot can be as easy as a layup off the glass, or as difficult as a MJ Fade-away or Kareem hook from the half court line with your eyes closed. If the shot is made, other participants have to make the exact same shot. For every failed attempt to follow the leader, that participant will receive a letter starting with “H” and the first participant that spells “HORSE” is eliminated. 

The 16 students chosen will be split into four groups and compete in a single elimination tournament until a winner is crowned. The winner will instantly receive $5,000 to their CashApp account and the other $5,000 will be put toward their tuition. And as mentioned earlier, another $10,000 will be donated to their school’s SGA. 

According to Promise Mangum, director of digital media, on the day of the competition, contestants will be responsible for hosting Zoom meetings with the camera positioned 10-15 feet away from the basket. Each round of the tournament will be shown live on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live every Friday throughout the month of October (Oct. 2-Oct. 30). 

Mangum said what makes the competition so exciting is the big unknown of HORSE. He said earlier in the summer when they hosted similar competitions, several times he saw participants make some tough shots, only to lose because they couldn’t hit a free throw. “It’s a very tough game,” Mangum said. 

“There’s times through the summer when people had a tried-and-true free throw and missed it and they lost out on 500 bucks, lost out 200 bucks, it literally has come down to that.”

Registration for the $20,000 HBCU Classic is free. Players must be a legal U.S. resident, go to an HBCU, and not be under any sports contract. Unfortunately, the competition can’t accept NCAA players or those planning to become one within the next 12 months due to contract issues. 

For more information or to register, visit 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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