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Astros Basis backs HBCU baseball with $1 million donation

February 19th, 2023HOUSTON — Saturday had a local feel on the field and in the stands at Minute Maid Park, where Houston-area rivals Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University faced off in the nightcap of another full day of games at the Cactus Jack HBCU Classic. Proceeds from the nine-game, three-day event —

Astros Basis backs HBCU baseball with $1 million donation

February nineteenth, 2023

HOUSTON — Saturday had an area really feel on the sphere and within the stands at Minute Maid Park, the place Houston-area rivals Texas Southern College and Prairie View A&M College confronted off within the nightcap of one other full day of video games on the Cactus Jack HBCU Classic. Proceeds from the nine-game, three-day occasion — hosted by the Astros Basis and rapper Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Basis — are getting used to fund scholar scholarships at Traditionally Black Faculties and Universities (HBCUs).

Whereas Texas Southern actually entertained followers with its play, the largest information got here pregame when officers from each the college and the Astros delivered a particular announcement on the sphere.

As a part of an ongoing partnership between the organizations, the Astros Basis is offering funding for the college to construct each baseball and softball stadiums on its Houston campus. Paula Harris, vice chairman of neighborhood affairs and director of the Astros Basis, offered college officers with a $1 million verify on the sphere previous to Saturday’s recreation.

“We began our partnership with Texas Southern final yr, and that is simply one other huge step,” Harris stated. “Texas Southern has by no means had their very own baseball discipline. They play at a metropolis park! We’re the World Sequence-winning Houston Astros, and we’re right here to do our half to be sure that our children have the identical equality throughout this metropolis and entry to good baseball.”

Texas Southern will break floor and start constructing the brand new stadiums later this yr. The Tigers baseball group at present performs off-site at MacGregor Park, whereas the softball group performs at Memorial Park.

“This partnership is a game-changer for our student-athletes,” stated Dr. Kevin Granger, vice chairman of intercollegiate athletics at Texas Southern. “Now they’ll get the amenities they deserve. I wish to thank Astros proprietor and chairman Jim Crane and his govt group for his or her generosity and dedication to assist make this challenge a actuality for our campus and the encompassing neighborhood.”

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To Harris and the Astros, that is an extension of the neighborhood outreach they’ve already put along with the Basic, which introduced six HBCU applications to a Main League ballpark for the primary time. The opposite 4 applications taking part within the round-robin event are Southern College and A&M School, Grambling State College, Jackson State College and Mississippi Valley State College.

“Our aim was to be sure that our HBCU children have the identical expertise on the sphere that we [provide] in our different school classics,” Harris stated. “The Astros are dedicated to variety. We wish to be sure that all children are uncovered to baseball, and so they all get a chance. That is the fruits of a number of work and desires.”

Whereas the schools and student-athletes are clearly having fun with themselves, Harris sees the outreach as one thing that’s essential to the broader Houston baseball neighborhood as effectively.

“The extra we are able to get a various group into baseball, that’s what we wish,” Harris stated. “We wish to have our followers in all the neighborhood get pleasure from this. Everyone seems to be invited out. We’ve had events, gospel brunches, a university honest. It’s been a busy, busy three days. The last word aim is to get children engaged in baseball, and our neighborhood is working collectively on that.”

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