Norfolk State basketball team to compete in Chris Paul HBCU Challenge next season

NORFOLK — The first piece of Norfolk State’s 2024-2025 men’s basketball schedule was announced Wednesday.

The Spartans will participate in the Chris Paul HBCU Challenge alongside MEAC foe Delaware State and a pair of SWAC teams in Grambling and Alabama State.

Games will be played Dec. 19-20 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. NSU will play Alabama State on Dec. 19 and then Grambling the next day.

“It’s exciting to be invited to the Chris Paul HBCU Challenge again,” Spartans head coach Robert Jones said in a release. “We have had success in this event before, and we are honored to be back!”

Paul, a 19-year NBA veteran and 12-time all-star, and his Chris Paul Family Foundation combined with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to merge the HBCU Tip-Off and Challenge into the Chris Paul HBCU Challenge.

“I’m excited to continue to grow the game of basketball through our HBCU tournaments,” Paul said in a release. “These games present a unique opportunity for student-athletes to play on a national stage and receive their well-deserved recognition. Collaborating with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Mohegan Sun and our partners provides the commitment needed to support HBCU schools and student-athletes.”

Norfolk State has competed in the event twice and has gone undefeated. In 2022, the Spartans beat both Hampton and Grambling when the event was called the Boost Mobile Chris Paul HBCU Challenge. In 2023, Norfolk State posted victories over Hampton and North Carolina A&T.

The Spartans finished 24-11 last season, were MEAC regular-season champions and won the CollegeInsider Tournament.

Tickets for the event will go on sale online on Sept. 6.

Michael Sauls, (757) 803-5774,