Charles Barkley is donating $1 million to Spelman College, the basketball hall of famer’s latest in a string of charitable contributions to historically black colleges.
Barkley told AL.com on July 7 that the contribution was inspired by Jordyn Hudson, the daughter Barkley business partner John Hudson. The younger Hudson is a rising sophomore at Spelman who is slated to serve as her class’ president when students return to campus this fall.
“John has been a great mentor, a great friend, and a great business partner,” Barkley said from Lake Tahoe, where he is participating in a celebrity golf event. “I was ready to do another HBCU and with his daughter doing great things at Spelman, so I told him, ‘Why not there?’”
Spelman, an all-women’s institution, is part of the Atlanta University Center, a cluster of HBCUs near downtown Atlanta that also includes Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University. The private institution has about 2,200 students, according to U.S. News and World Report, and counts Georgia politician Stacey Abrams, activist and Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman and actress Keisha Knight Pulliam among its alumnae.
This is the sixth time Barkley has made a substantial donation to an HBCU. Since 2016, he’s given $1 million each to Alabama A&M University, Morehouse, Clark, Miles College and Tuskegee University. Outside of the AUC schools, every other contribution went to schools in his native Alabama.
Barkley, 59, played in the NBA from 1984 through 1999, suiting up for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. But the Spelman students who benefit from his generosity are more likely to know him as a broadcaster for TNT, where he’s been part of its NBA broadcast talent since 2000.