NBA Unveils 2024 HBCU Fellowship Class To Inspire Black Youth

This year's cohort features 70 fellows from 22 HBCUs.

The NBA has announced its third annual HBCU Fellowship class.

The fellowship consists of a 10-week internship that hosts students from HBCUs to gain experience with the professional basketball league. According to NBA.com, the program was launched in 2022.

“When the league wanted to do more for the HBCU community, we developed this program to ensure that HBCU students had an opportunity to learn about the business of basketball and break into the sports industry,” said Lauren Sills, head of operations for the NBA Foundation, per NBA.com.

The league welcomed this year’s cohort at a two-day professional learning event held at the NBA’s headquarters on May 23. The event started with an HBCU all-star panel featuring current NBA employees who are alumni of the program.

“Creating career and talent opportunities for students is directly aligned with the mission of the NBA Foundation,” Sills said. “Helping develop career pipeline initiatives for students with similar experiences to me is an incredibly unique opportunity that I do not take for granted.” 

The 2024 cohort features 70 fellows from 22 HBCUs, working across nearly all the NBA franchises and one WNBA team. Additionally, the interns will work and travel to their team hubs to assist in their marketing, business, and various departments. The program’s participants gain the skills and insight to potentially grow in the business of basketball.

“Our program has revolutionized what it means to be an intern because they have access to a diverse pool of departments and roles, so this is an opportunity for students to learn about the depth of careers you can find at the NBA,” said Early Career Programs Senior Manager Fredrick Salyers. “One of the main things I’d like to see for the fellowship is creating a more sophisticated and intentional pipeline for students of color.” 

The NBA also hopes that developing this pipeline and strengthening its alumni base will ensure a diverse workforce throughout its community.