More than 320 students from 64 HBCUs participated in the three-day tournament of the 14th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge held in Orlando.
The academic competition allowed students to compete for more than $300,000 in institutional grants.
A team of students from FAMU emerged to be crowned champions of the event. FAMU defeated South Carolina State University in the final round, winning $50,000 for the university. SCSU won $25,000 and other teams won grants ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 for their respective schools.
Jeffrey D. Rogers Jr., 23, captain of the FAMU team said the team cohesion helped them to victory.
“We had great chemistry and a well-balanced team,” said Rogers, a senior business administration student from Pensacola. “We had a team from a variety of backgrounds and I believe that would be good for any great team.”
FAMU’s team consisted of Alonzo Alexander, 20, a junior physics student from Raleigh, N.C.; Jonathan Evans, 21, a junior psychology student from Morgantown, W.Va.; Kevin Johnson, 20, a junior physics student from Durham, N.C. and Michael Ghebrebrhan, 21, a senior physics student from Jacksonville, Fla.
Ghebrebrhan was awarded $1,000 for being selected as the All-Star Player of the competition. He is one of eight leading national scorers in the event.
Dr. Vivian Hobbs, an English professor, coached the team. Hobbs, who has coached the FAMU team for 13 years, said the team has been training since September 2002 for the competition. The team practiced two times a week, two hours on Wednesdays and three hours on Saturdays. Rogers said the practices consisted of lots of reading and fact gathering.
“I look at myself as a manager of the team,” Rogers said. “I also have to make sure that the team keep their egos in check and that everyone is calm.”
Hobbs said this year’s team is one that she won’t soon forget.
“They made my job of coaching very easy,” Hobbs said. “I’m so proud of these students.
“I believe this is the best team that I have ever had.”
Antione Davis can be reached at Aldavis03@hotmail.com.