Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications
The Grambling State University baseball team will open its season in the inaugural Cactus Jack HBCU Classic, February 17-19, hosted the Cactus Jack Foundation, the Houston Astros Foundation announced on Wednesday.
The Tigers will open play in the classic on February 17 against Prairie View A&M, and will also meet Southern (February 18) and Mississippi Valley State (February 19).
The Cactus Jack HBCU Classic will be held at Minute Maid Park and will be a highlight of Division I college baseball’s 2023 opening weekend. The six schools participating in the inaugural event include Texas Southern, Prairie View A&M, Southern, Grambling State, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State.
The Cactus Jack HBCU Classic week includes a variety of events, highlighted by a college fair featuring over 100 colleges and universities hosted by the Astros Youth Academy at Minute Maid Park.
The partnership with the Cactus Jack Foundation for the tournament supports their longstanding commitment to raising money and providing scholarship opportunities for students to attend HBCUs. It is a cause that is important to Travis Scott given his family’s longtime legacy studying, working and supporting HBCUs: his mother Wanda attended Grambling University, his father Jacques went to Prairie View A&M, where his brother Josh currently studies and his sister Jordan graduated from Howard University last year. His grandfather, Waymon Webster, was an alumnus and dean of Prairie View A&M graduate school and is the namesake for the Waymon Webster Scholarships given out by the Cactus Jack Foundation, which helps HBCU students who are experiencing last-minute financial adversity graduate on time with their class. For the second consecutive year in 2022 and in conjunction with Travis Scott’s Project H.E.A.L. initiative, the Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund granted $1,000,000 in scholarships to 100 graduating HBCU seniors.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to growing the game of baseball and softball for youth and the next generation of players, we are thrilled to partner with these exceptional schools to highlight their baseball programs and give their athletes a chance to compete at Minute Maid Park,” states Paula Harris, Senior Vice President Community Affairs and Executive Director, Astros Foundation. “We are grateful to have the Cactus Jack Foundation support our initiative as they continue to lean in on giving back to HBCU students and programming. We look forward to kicking off college baseball season with this inaugural tournament.”
Travis Scott, founder of Cactus Jack Foundation and Project H.E.A.L., said “I am excited to partner with my hometown team, the World Champion Houston Astros, to showcase the top-tier talents of HBCU student-athletes. Supporting HBCUs are an integral part of my family’s history and present. I want to thank the Astros organization for their commitment to giving HBCU teams the opportunity to compete at one of the best stadiums in the world.”
Tickets for the tournament are on sale now. Visit Astros.com/hbcuclassic for more information.