NCCU Team to Compete in Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Qualifying Tournament

Posted February 06, 2020, 3:09PM
2019-2020 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team

North Carolina Central University will compete in the National Qualifying Tournament of the 31st annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), America’s premier academic competition for HBCU students. The National Qualification Tournament will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8, on the campus of Morgan State University. 

NCCU is one of the 65 teams competing for institutional grants and a spot in the HCASC National Championship Tournament taking place on the America Honda campus in Torrance, California, March 28 - April 1, 2020. 

NCCU’s team will test its knowledge of various subjects against teams from across the country including:  Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Cheyney University Of Pennsylvania, Howard University, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Morgan State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the University of the District of Columbia.

Representing NCCU at this year’s National Qualifying Tournament for the 2019-2020 varsity team include Deandria Harper, a senior physics major from Durham and Malcolm Brown, a senior finance major from Tacoma, Washington. Brown led the national competition last year by scoring 60 points per game. Miranda Clinton, a junior history major from Durham, and Travis Williams, a junior mathematics major from Stockbridge, Georgia, will join Harper and Brown to represent NCCU in the HCASC competitions. 

They are challenged in practice by eight additional team members who are vying for a spot on the varsity team including: Jazmyne Abney, a sophomore political science major Charlotte; David Blackmond, a sophomore art and visual communications major from Wake Forest; Jacob Boggs, a sophomore chemistry major from Burlington; Cedric Burden, a sophomore biology major from Fulton, Maryland; Maya Clinton, a junior physics from Durham; Isabel Gutierrez, a junior earth and geospatial sciences major from Mebane; Heather Leonard, a junior hospitality and tourism major from Burlington; Kennedy Lofton, a sophomore pharmaceutical sciences from Winston; Sabina Morgan, a senior pharmaceutical sciences major from Accra, Ghana; and Mya Reeves, a senior accounting major from High Point.

This year, five students have joined the club, including Joy Banks, a sophomore computer science major from Huntersville; Hannah Boykin, a freshman mathematics major from Garner; Marissa Curry, a freshman biomedical major from Bowie, Maryland; Jada Smith, a freshman nursing major from Lumberton; and Demaya Starkes, a freshman biology major from Raleigh.

The club is advised by Clayton Mack Jr. and coached by Christopher Graves and Janice Dargan, Ph.D. Graves’ tenure has included several highlights, including seven finishes among the final eight teams and two national championship appearances (2006 and 2009). The coaches are assisted by several dedicated faculty, staff and alumni volunteers throughout the school year.

Upon the results of the regional tournaments, HCASC will hold the national tournament in Los Angeles that culminates with the crowning of a national champion and the presentation of a $75,000 grant to the winning institution. 

Honda established the Honda Campus All Star Challenge in 1989 as a way to highlight and recognize the academic talents of HBCU students. More than $8.5 million in grants from Honda have provided support for books and tuition, scholarships, enhancement of student programs and other investments to improve campus facilities.

For more information, contact Clayton Mack, special projects coordinator at 919-530-7620 or

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