On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Mobile, Alabama will host the Bridge Builder Classic, which will feature high school and HBCU basketball games.
SWAC rivals Alabama A&M and Alabama State square off in a men’s and women’s doubleheader.
Neither side is having the greatest season as both are in the bottom half of the SWAC standings. The Bulldogs are 6-11 overall and 2-2 in conference play. The Hornets are 4-13 overall and 2-2 in the SWAC.
Both teams are currently on the same trajectory as each has lost two games in a row coming at the hands of Alcorn State and Jackson State, respectively.
Also, as part of a 6-year agreement, the schools will play each MLK Day to bring attention to HBCUs in Alabama and honor King’s legacy.
Players to watch
Garrett Hicks (14.9 points and 1.5 steals per game); Dailin Smith (10.8 points and 1.4 steals per game); Messiah Thompson (10.6 points and 1.5 steals per game); Olisa Blaise Akonobi (7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game) and Cameron Tucker (5.3 points and 1.2 steals per game).
Isaiah Range (14.2 points and 1.2 steals per game); TJ Madlock (11.6 points, six rebounds and 1.4 steals per game); Alex Anderson (10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game and Duane Posey (7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game).
Rebounding and defense will be key for the Hornets as controlling the boards and getting steals will give them more offensive opportunities.
On the women’s side, Both Alabama HBCUs are two of the top women’s teams in all of SWAC, with the Bulldogs being 5-9 overall and 3-1 in conference play. The Hornets are one spot ahead of Alabama A&M at 6-9 overall and 3-1 in the SWAC.
The Hornets are coming off a nail-biting 93-91 win over Alcorn State. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were blown out by Jackson State 63-35.
Players to watch
Toni Grace (10.6 points and 0.8 steals per game); Amani Free (10.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game); and Jayla Cody (5.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1.6 blocks per game).
Jayla Crawford (15.7 points and 1.1 steals per game), Ayana Emmanuel (14.9 points and 1.5 steals per game) and Cordasia Harris (10.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks per game).
What: Bridge Builder Classic
When: Monday 3:30 p.m. CST
Where: Mitchell Center, Mobile, Alabama
How to watch: Ballin Down South Sports Network