HBCU All-Stars complete historic first international tour in France

By Lut Williams

The 10-member HBCU All-Star basketball squad successfully completed its first-ever international tour in France last week after competing in the QUIA 54 International Tournament and a series of exhibition games.

The team, assembled by founder Travis Williams and led by HBCU head coaching legend Cy Alexander, was made up of players from all four HBCU conferences and Tennessee State.

“What an amazing and historic moment,” said Williams on Instagram of the seven-day trip. “It was an opportunity for 10 of our most esteemed HBCU All-Star Game alums to participate in this historic moment.

“This was truly a remarkable journey and lifetime moment for many of those young men, but more importantly, for the HBCU basketball culture. We are global from this moment forward and moving forward toward the future.”

The team played a total of five games. It fell in its only tournament game, 42-38 in an abbreviated 18-minute format. No U.S. team has won a first round game in the years participating in the tournament.

“Had the game been 40 minutes, we would have won,” said Alexander, while not making excuses. “We got off to a very slow start, but we adjusted and played better as the game wore on.”

The game was played before a crowd of thousands of fans.

In the friendly exhibition contests, the team went 2-2 against European pro competition.

“I was very pleased with how our squad handled themselves in a very hostile environment with the fans and tough officiating,”

Alexander said. For example, in the QUIA Tournament, the Spanish team scored 19 of its 42 points from the free throw line.

“I thought they represented their families, their HBCUs and the U.S. extremely well,”

Alexander said. “I think the trip was a major success.”