Florida A&M University’s Marching “100” rocked player introductions at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta on Sunday.
“Once again, the FAMU Marching “100” reminded America it is the gold standard of university marching bands,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “The ‘100’ does more than entertain. It reflects the standards of excellence we strive for throughout our University and displays the rich culture of marching bands throughout our precious HBCUs.”
Director of Bands Shelby Chipman, Ph.D., was among the 1,500 fans inside the State Farm Arena to witness the event. Chipman said he was in tears as he watched the band’s performance with the amazing choreography and graphics.
“It was just spectacular. I had a personal moment. I started crying as I was video recording the band,” said Chipman, who thanked the NBA for selecting FAMU’s band to perform. “Our students continue to do amazing things to ensure that the Marching “100” remains at the zenith of what we do. I am humbled to serve as the director. It was moment I will never forget.”
The NBA All-Star weekend festivities in Atlanta placed FAMU and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the spotlight. Since Team LeBron won the exhibition game, $1.25 million was donated to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Team Durant raised $500,000 for the United Negro College Fund.
Artwork from seven HBCU students, including FAMU graphic design senior Elijah Rutland, was displayed in the arena, at the players’ hotel, on the broadcast and across NBA social platforms. During on court interviews, players wore Beats custom headphones Rutland designed.
The Macon, Georgia, native said he has received unprecedent opportunities while in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.
“It’s kind of surreal that I get to do work at this level and still be a student, and I get to represent FAMU,” said Rutland, who is scheduled to graduate this fall. “That makes people proud. It’s something I really enjoy.”
To watch the player introductions visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZTmk1M1Pg0.