The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) team has qualified to participate in the 30th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. The tournament will take place in Torrance, California, April 13-17.
Founded in 1989, the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is the oldest academic competition between students at America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Honda has sponsored the program since its inception.
The challenge is open to all four-year, degree-granting HBCUs in the continental U.S. More than 125,000 students have participated in the competition, where schools vie to qualify for the annual National Championship Tournament. NCCU’s team has qualified for 26 previous tournaments.
NCCU participated in one of seven National Qualification Tournaments held across the county on Feb. 9, where the team won its fourth regional qualifier in six years, defeating Spelman College in the final round 540 to 445. NCCU finished the tournament undefeated, also beating Winston-Salem State University, Savannah State University, Shaw University in the round-robin competition, and Benedict College in the semifinals.
The qualification tournament win earned the team an automatic bid to enter the national championship tournament.
Returning members from the 2017-2018 varsity team are: Deandria Harper, a junior physics major from Durham; Shawn Pressley, a senior psychology major from Charlotte; Shavonna Corprew, a junior history major from Apex; will be joined by the newest member Malcolm Brown, a junior finance major from Tacoma, Washington. Harper serves as team captain.
The team members hone their skills through practice challenges by additional team members who are vying for a spot on the varsity team. Those participants are Maya Clinton, a sophomore physics major from Durham; Miranda Clinton, a sophomore history major from Durham; Isabel Gutierrez, a sophomore earth and geospatial sciences major from Mebane; Paul McAllister, a senior history major from Akron, Ohio; Sabina Morgan, a junior pharmaceutical sciences major from Accra, Ghana; Mya Reeves, a junior marketing major from High Point; Travis Williams, a sophomore mathematics major from Stockbridge, Georgia.
Five first-year students have joined the team including: Jazmyne Abney, a political science major from Charlotte; Jacob Boggs, a chemistry major from Burlington; Cedric Burden, a biology major from Fulton, Maryland; and Kennedy Lofton, a pharmaceutical sciences major from Winston-Salem.
Heather Leonard, a sophomore hospitality and tourism major from Burlington has also joined the team.
The team is coached by Clayton Mack Jr. and Christopher Graves. Mack also serves as NCCU’s HCASC campus coordinator. Janice Dargan, Ph.D., NCCU Department of History adjunct assistant professor, serves as the faculty advisor.
Graves’ tenure has included several team highlights, including seven finishes among the final eight teams, including two national championship appearances (2006, 2009). The coaches are assisted by several dedicated faculty, staff and alumni volunteers throughout the school year.
For more information on the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, please visit https://www.hcasc.com. Follow NCCU's team on Twitter at @NccuHCASC.