Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki announcedthat national sports commentator Stephen A. Smith will be Wilmington’s official HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Ambassador for the city’s Annual HBCU Week and College Fair.
Stephen announced he is bringing the entire ESPN “First Take” production team with him to Wilmington in September as “First Take” is broadcasting live on Friday, September 20 from the 76ers Fieldhouse in south Wilmington as part of the city’s HBCU Week activities.
The 76ers Fieldhouse is a 2,500-seat multi-purpose arena and sports complex and home to the Philadelphia 76ers NBA G League team the Delaware Blue Coats.
When you add floor seats during the live First Take broadcast, there will be nearly four thousand people in attendance, along with HBCU marching bands, celebrities and superstar athletes, a release stated.
First Take will come to the arena on Sept. 20.
Smith is a HBCU graduate of Winston Salem State University and recently received the HBCU Week “Social Impact” Award from Purzycki at the HBCU Celebration Dinner held at the Hotel DuPont.
Wilmington’s HBCU Week is held annually.
The highlight of the HBCU Week is the HBCU College Fair. In the two years of the College Fair, more than 1,000 students have been admitted to HBCUs and many have received full and partial scholarships. The week culminates with the Battle of the Bands, when bands from HBCUs from around the East Coast come to Frawley Stadium to entertain nearly 7,000 attendees.
Smith is a featured commentator on ESPN’sFirst Takewhich airs weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.,where he discusses and debates the sports topics of the day.
Before going to work on sports TV and radio , Smith held several positions during 16 years with thePhiladelphia Inquirer(1994-2010). Prior to joining theInquirer, Smith was a reporter with theWinston-Salem Journal, theGreensboro Newsand theNew York Daily News.
After attending theFashion Institute of Technologyfor one year, Smith received a basketball scholarship to attendWinston-Salem State University, ahistorically black universityinWinston-Salem, N.C.,where he graduated in 1991.
He has also appeared in TV commercials and entertainment shows.