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Rich Heritage Classic Basketball Diaries: “The Vision” with Devin Green

By Tom Ballato

Former Hampton Pirate, Los Angeles Lakers, and overseas professional basketball player, Devin Green, started working on a Rich Heritage Classic (RHC). The RHC will be a high school All-American Invitational geared toward exposing young athletes to HBCU schools. Green also wants to give them a different perspective of what the HBCU experience is all about. 

In 2016, the vision came to fruition for Green and Ericko Ferrer, Green’s partner on the project. As a friend and a partner, Ferrer wanted to help Green bring his vision to life. Ferrer is an advocate for HBCUs and has many friends that attended HBCU schools. Together they want to bring value to the HBCU space because HBCU schools are small and lack resources but are power-packed with pride and stand on a rich heritage. 

Photo courtesy of Hampton Athletics.

They realized that there weren’t any platforms available that helped younger athletes get exposure to HBCU schools at an early age. Adding a platform within the HBCU space would add to the movement that has been dormant for years, but that is about to change. 

Green and Ferrer have a board set up with influential members within the HBCU community. The board members all bring different experiences to the table and advocate for the young athletes participating in the invitational.

The HBCU experience has been a part of Green’s journey. “As a professional and lover of basketball, I always felt like it was my responsibility to add value to the (HBCU) space, through my unique experience playing all over the world,” Green said. 

The invitational will feature a men’s and women’s game consisting of the 24 players in each game. Green wants to balance players from international players, top players in the country, and players who have already committed to playing at HBCUs. 

Green and Ferrer have partnered with friend Andres Martin, an HBCU graduate who runs a nonprofit organization called HBCU Night. Martin will help run the panel discussion that will take place the weekend of the game. Ambassadors will arrive Thursday, and players arrive on Friday. The players will practice on Friday, and then there will be a gala in the evening. The goal is to raise money and network. The networking with HBCU alumni would help both parties grow the HBCU movement for younger generations. 

The target year for the invitational is 2023. The first five years have been mapped out, and they plan to move the game every year. The inaugural event will take place in the city of Atlanta at Morehouse College’s Forbes Arena.

“One of our missions with the game is to raise capital to help with the restoration of sports facilities on HBCU campuses,” said Green. 

A platform with a growing list of HBCU legends, the Rich Heritage Classic has the making to be something special in terms of exposure for young athletes. Green wants to make HBCU alumni, HBCU students, student-athletes, and black culture proud. 

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