AAMU's Honda Team Aiming High for 2024
Beyond Sweet 16
What a week!
The 2023 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship was an experience to remember. After Alabama A&M University's of veterans all graduated, team capain Carla Draper Holloway actually was hesitant about even rebuilding a new team. Successful domination of The Honda Challenge can take years and the effort and training required is time-consuming, and no one knows that better than Holloway.
"I was able to recruit a group of committed scholars dedicated to study," said Holloway, former HCASC Coach of the Year. "The first day of competition proved challenging, with a pair of losses to Hampton University and Tennessee State."
Bulldog resiliency returned. The AAMU team bounced back with wins against Tennessee State in a second face-off and double wins against Cheyney University.
"We broke even by the end of round robin play with a 3-3 record, which equaled the record of two other teams," recalled the coach. "We had to hold our breath to wait on the announcement to see if we advanced to the Sweet 16 round. We did!"
Although the team fell to the veteran-led and undefeated Winston Salem State, Holloway beams. "I am so proud of my team!"
The 2023 Varsity team included Kennede Boyd, Jamya Cathey, Opey Olanipekun and Jaylan Hayes-Fain. They represented for the whole AAMU team. Holloway has served seven years as HCASC coordinator and coach. Stillman College took the crown this year, but the Bulldogs will use the next 12 months to ready for next year's national championship.
"We are going for it all next year!" promised Holloway, while admitting that there is "more work to do."HCASC brings together the whole campus community – students, faculty, administration and alumni. The Q&A game combines, academic material, popular culture and sports in a format emphasizing quick recall.
African-American history and culture, as well as literature, science, and geography are prominently featured in the questions.
HCASC is a year-round program with three levels of play – campus, national qualifying tournaments, and the national championship tournament in Los Angeles, California.