Vice President Kamala Harris and Michael B. Jordan Discuss HBCUs and COVID Vaccines Before NBA All-Star Game
The 2021 NBA All-Star Game opened with a special conversation between Vice President Kamala Harris and actor Michael B. Jordan.
Before the start of the game, the pair discussed her college years at Howard University. "There are two things that led me to where I am at today," Harris said. "My family and the HBCU I attended which was Howard University. I'm so happy that the NBA is celebrating our HBCUs."
They also spoke about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine rollout. "Right now Michael, I'm urging everyone to get the vaccine when it is your turn. I've taken the vaccine," Harris said. "It's about understanding that it's bigger than you because it really is an extension of love thy neighbor and it will save their life."
Praising the NBA stars who played in the bubble last summer, the vice president added, "The players were the leaders who showed everyone for the sake of the team, for the sake of the whole, you make certain sacrifices. They did their thing!"
And speaking about her favorite team, Harris said she's "all about the Warriors," later saying: "After we won the election and I became vice president, the Warriors had a special jersey that Oakland in the front and it had 49 on it. I said I don't think Steph [Curry]'s number is 49? And then I realized I'm the 49th vice president!"
Concluding the interview, Harris further shared her admiration for the athletes and their skills. "Let's encourage them to be their best, you've got to admire that," she said.
The All-Star Game will be generating $3 million in scholarship funds to donate to the United States' Historically Black Colleges and Universities — which both Harris and Jordan have been outspoken in support of.
Harris, 56, attended Howard University, making her the first HBCU graduate in the White House.
"When you're at an HBCU," Harris told The Washington Post last year, "and especially one with the size and with the history of Howard University — and also in the context of also being in D.C., which was known forever as being 'Chocolate City' — it just becomes about you understanding that there is a whole world of people who are like you."
"It's not just about there are a few of us who may find each other," she added.
Jordan, 34, did not attend an HBCU but previously praised the "communal spirit" of the schools and last year launched the Hoop Dreams Classic, a college basketball showcase that will feature four of the top HBCU men's and women's basketball programs.
"I'll be wearing my gear then if I come," Harris told Jordan in the interview.
The showcase will be held on December 18, 2021, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
"As a Newark native, I am committed to bringing change to the community and am honored to be able to present The Hoop Dreams Classic as a way to celebrate the value of community, education, and Black college experiences," Jordan said in a statement to Forbes last December. "Through our shared love of basketball, I look forward to bringing the communal spirit of HBCUs to the city that helped shape me into the man I am today."
The 2021 NBA All-Star Game between Team LeBron and Team Durant airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
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