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Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith coming to Wilmington this fall to promote HBCUs

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media
Stephen A. Smith speaks at an announcement event in Wilmington Friday

The City of Wilmington has announced a high-profile ambassador for its Historically Black Colleges and Universities week in September:   Stephen A. Smith — featured commentator on ESPN’s First Take.

Smith is a graduate of HBCU Winston-Salem State University and was recently awarded Wilmington’s HBCU “social impact” award.

“I can’t put into words what my association with an HBCU has done for my career,” he said at an announcement event in Wilmington Friday. “What it has done for my life, the friends that I have made, the support that I have received, the people that have believed in me from day one."

Smith said he jumped at the opportunity to serve as an ambassador.

“This is not just about reminding folks about the value of being from an HBCU, it’s about encouraging folks to participate,” he said. “It’s about galvanizing not just the HBCU community but those on the outside to come in and volunteer.”

ESPN’ First Take is scheduled to broadcast live from the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington September 20.

The city’s HBCU week also includes a service project, a panel discussion and a college fair, where city officials say qualifying students can be accepted to HBCUs on the spot. Over the two years of the city’s HBCU college fair, more than 1,000 students have been admitted to HBCUs, according to officials.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.