Alumni, fans enjoy second Bridge Builder Classic


Photo by Jaelyn Stansbury / Chief Photographer

Alabama State University Men’s Basketball team won the second Bridge Builders Classic trophy by defeating the Alabama A&M University Men’s Basketball team.

Kendal Manns, Editor-in-Chief

The second annual Bridge Builders Classic (BBC) headlined an eventful Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the Port City of Mobile, Alabama.
The BBC honors the legacy of MLK and celebrates his memory by highlighting the “bridge builders” in the Alabama communities.
The Jan. 16 event seeks to provide the “Ultimate HBCU Basketball Experience” and featured four high schools (Mattie T. Blount High School vs McIntosh High School, Baker High School vs John LeFlore High School) and two universities (Alabama State University vs Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University).
“Hornet Nation” was well represented with students, faculty, alumni and parents all gathering at the Mitchell Center for the festivities.
Paula Rodgers, the mother of Roderick Rodgers, a member of the percussion section for the Mighty Marching Hornets (MMH), enjoyed the environment and understood the great opportunity for younger students in attendance.
“It gives a lot of opportunities for young kids that want to attend a university,” Rodgers said. “It also gives them an opportunity to know the concept of what college is all about. They have an opportunity to earn full scholarships so that they can be able to get a formal education.”
Rodgers is also a member of the Alabama State University alumni of Mobile. She was one of many fans that loved the rivalry between the two HBCUs taking place in the city of Mobile.
Benjamin Harris, an alumnus and former assistant football coach for the university, was another one of the Hornets’ supporters in attendance.
“This classic is great,” Harris said. “It’s great for me because I’m from Mobile. It’s great for the community, (Alabama) A&M and Alabama State to get together like this. It’s great entertainment. Seems like everybody is having a good time.”
The BBC increased anticipation for future events for many like Jennifer Reed, a sister of Kenneth Richardson, drum major #3 for the MMH.
“I love it! We’re from Mobile,” Reed said. “I love to come back to my hometown and put on a show. I don’t mind the drive (from Mobile to Montgomery). I’m actually coming back for the (Honda) Battle of the Bands on the (Feb.)18th.”
Despite not having classes in honor of MLK Day, some students still took the nearly two-and-a-half-hour drive down I-65 to the Mitchell Center.
Lauryn Evans, a sophomore forensic biology major, demonstrated her Hornet Pride by making the trip.
“I love my ASU, so wherever they go I go,” Evans said.
Alexander Watson, a member of the MMH, returned to his hometown to show his support for the university.
“I love it (the BBC) being played in Mobile, because this is where I’m from and it’s like a piece of me coming back home,” Watson said. “I’m really enjoying the games actually. It’s really fun.”