Volleyball stars Bria and Cimone Woodard have elected to play college ball at Howard University. Their decisions come as a surprise to many because the twin sisters committed to play at Texas A&M during their sophomore years of high school.
"I chose A&M, and I think I could still be happy there. But, I'm being drawn to an HBCU," Bria Woodard said.
Standing at 6'3, both sisters are star players at Episcopal High School in Texas. Their outstanding high school careers have them ranked as two of the top 150 players in the country. With their height and skill, the duo could have attended powerhouses like Texas A&M, but they believe Howard University offers more than just college volleyball.
"This school is designed for our success and I'm excited for that," Cimone said.
The Woodard sisters are just two of the latest top high school athletes to attend a HBCU instead of a Power 5 school. At Howard University five-star basketball recruit MakurMaker is preparing for his freshman season. Elsewhere, Se'Quoia Allmond is making history as the first top 100 recruit to commit to Jackson State's women's basketball program. Not to mention, Deion Sanders is heading to Jackson State to coach and he's bringing his son, a four-star prospect of Texas, as well.
A renewed interest in HBCU sports is partially drive by professional athletes. This fall, NBA All-Star Chris Paul started taking classes as Winston-Salem State. Also, Portland Trailblazers forward Robert Covington has donated $1 million to his alma mater, Tennessee State. Topping it off, North Carolina Central University made headlines when the school offeredLeBron James Jr. a full basketball scholarship.
Top athletes pivoting from Power 5 schools to HBCUs could be a trend. Only time will tell.
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