March 21, 2013
LAWT News Service
After hundreds of hours of studying, countless practice matches, and almost a year of preparation, one question stood between Morgan State University’s academic team and the title of 2012 National Champion: “Who was America’s only chief executive never elected as president or vice president?” Now, one year later, Morgan State returns to defend its title at the Honda Campus All Star Challenge (HCASC), an intense academic competition among the best and brightest students from Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs). The action-packed, suspense-filled National Championship Tournament (NCT) takes place April 7 - 8 on the campus of American Honda Motor Co, Inc., a culmination of the year-long program.
More than 250 students from 18 states representing 48 HBCUs have spent many months training for their chance at the National Championship by participating in pre-NCT matches. A win will not only give them bragging rights as the nation’s top academic HBCU, but will also give them the opportunity to win a share of the more than $300,000 in institutional grants awarded annually by Honda. The two-day competition will test students’ knowledge of history, science, literature, religion, the arts, social science, and popular culture.
This year’s HCASC student competitors from the 48 HBCUs, or “Great 48,” are traveling to the national competition in Torrance, Calif., from schools around the nation, including Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, New York, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
The competitors will be split into eight divisions and will compete in a modified round-robin format. The top two teams from each division will advance to the “Sweet 16” and will compete in a single elimination playoff. The final two teams that emerge from the playoffs will battle for the title of National Champions and the grand prize of $50,000. The grand prize, along with the other institutional grants, will support academic activities at the participating HBCUs.
Last year’s National Champions, Morgan State, took home its first-ever title by beating second-place finisher Oakwood University, a previous national champion. Morgan State’s winning answer in last year’s Honda Campus All-Star Challenge was: Gerald Ford.
“My favorite part of being on this team has been bonding with our teammates and coach,” said Craig Cornish, captain, Morgan State Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team
“There have been a lot of incendiary moments, but they’ve made us stronger. I’m looking forward to getting ready for next year.”
Said Dr. Oluwa Tosin Adegbola, Morgan State Honda Campus All Star Challenge team coach, "This is everybody’s first year on the team, and to try to figure out how to meld what they know with what they need to know, takes a journey that builds a relationship of trust. It’s been a beautiful relationship with my team."
“The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge brings together great minds from Historically Black College and Universities around the nation and offers them a friendly and competitive environment to demonstrate their intellect, hard work and dedication,” said Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co.
“We are proud to support HCASC as it continues to exemplify HBCUs’ academic excellence, enrich our nation’s youth, and invest in one of the country’s largest pipelines for professional, artistic, and academic talent.”
For more information on the Honda Campus All Star Challenge and a list of the 48 participating HBCUs, please go to www.HCASC.com.