HAMPTON, Va. (July 6, 2020) – NBA All-Star Bradley Beal, of the Washington Wizards, surprised four Ron Brown College Preparatory High School students in Washington D.C., who are all attending HBCUs in the fall, with special gift boxes and a $3,000 scholarship each. One of the recipients is Jaden Crosson, an incoming Hampton University freshman who will enter HU’s five-year MBA program. Beal has had a long-standing relationship with Ron Brown HS and is known to many students as a big brother.
“We would like to thank Mr. Bradley Beal for his investment in the future generation of young men in the Washington D.C. area. The scholarships and gift boxes he has given to Jaden Crosson and his classmates to attend Hampton and other HBCUs is a wonderful example of professional athletes impacting their local communities. Congratulations to Jaden and we look forward to seeing him begin his higher education at his ‘Home by the Sea,’” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Beal’s gift included a college branded hoodie, a Microsoft Surface and keyboard, “Between the World and Me” by Ta’Nehisi Coates, Radical Dreams Pins, a Wizards and Mystics Black Lives Matters shirt and more Wizards branded items. The gift box came with a letter from Beal and directions to join a Zoom call where Beal praised the students for their hard work that brought them to graduation.
“I’m beyond proud of you guys. I’m even more proud of you guys for going to colleges you all chose to go to – an HBCU. Especially in the time in which we are in now, I feel like those are statement pieces. It’s amazing to see what young, Black men were able to do with the opportunity you guys were given. I remember telling you time and time again, take advantage of every opportunity you’re given, no matter what it is in, sports, school, teachers, mentoring, programs, whatever it may be. Whatever opportunity you have, seize it – because you don’t always get those moments. We know we’re born with these disadvantages. You guys had a great advantage already going to a school in Ron Brown, which prepares you for college,” Beal said.
While on the Zoom call, Beal surprised them with a scholarship. “I got one final gift for you. I want to grant $3,000 to each of you guys as a scholarship this year,” Beal said. After a few tears from the students, they all said thank you and were full of gratitude.
Crosson was home with his mother and grandmother when he received the gift box. “We definitely appreciate it. He’s [Beal] been so engaged with them. Jaden has gotten a lot from everything that Mr. Bradley Beal has done for the school,” said Vanya Brown, Jaden’s mother.
Beal left the students with some great words of wisdom. “Now you’re in the real world,” Beal said. “These opportunities are going to be vast, they’re going to come at you from all angles. Seize them all, enjoy every moment of it. Continue to make yourselves proud, your families proud, and me proud. Please continue to grind, and continue to be the best that you possibly can.”