Maryland-Eastern Shore forward Nathaniel Pollard Jr. took the spotlight in the 2023 HBCU All-Star Game, leading the way for Team Barnett en route to the MVP honors in the exhibition.
The HBCU All-Star Game–which started last year and is only in its second iteration–pitted Team Barnett and Team Reed, both named after the former New York Knicks teammates and champions Dick Barnett and Willis Reed. A total of 24 players from the four HBCU NCAA Division I and II conferences in the nation were selected for the event held at the Texas Southern campus in Houston as part of the Final Four festivities.
Team Barnett dominated from start to finish, though, with Team Reed unable to cool down the hot-shooting of their opponents. Team Barnett ended the game on 17-of-35 shooting from deep, leading by double digits for most of the night before settling for the 113-99 win, per ESPN.
Pollard Jr. had a great double-double with 10 points and 13 boards to claim the MVP honor. He also had one of the best highlights of the game when he went coast-to-coast for massive throwdown in the second half.
POLLARD RACK ATTACK.
— CBS Sports College Basketball 🏀 (@CBSSportsCBB) April 2, 2023
While Pollard won MVP by virtue of Team Barnett's win, Team Reed actually had the best player of the contest in Texas Southern's Joirdon Karl Nicholas. Perhaps feeling the comfort of playing at home, Nicholas exploded for 26 points and 10 boards to impress the Houston crowd in attendance.
It was undoubtedly an entertaining game from start to finish, and by the looks of it, the HBCU All-Star Game could very well become a regular showcase as part of the NCAA Tournament.