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FAMU Students Prepare to Compete as National Finalist in Honda Campus All Star Challenge

The brainpower of Florida A&M University students and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be on display at the 25th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament held April 12-16 on the campus of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in Torrance, Calif.

FAMU students, along with hundreds of students representing HBCUs from across the nation, have spent the past year diligently preparing to compete in the final round of the HCASC academic tournament.

FAMU will be represented by Baysha Bernales from Hawthorne, Fla.; Kimberlyn Elliott from Gainesville, Fla.; Roslyn Shanklin from New Haven, Conn. and Aubrey Upshur III from Philadelphia, Pa. Retired FAMU Professor Vivian L. Hobbs, Ph.D., will coach the team.

FAMU is the winningest HBCU in Honda Campus All-Star Challenge history, having won 7 national championships. Returning player Upshur was a top-scoring All-Star at the 2013 competition.

For FAMU’s All-Star team, the road to the championship began in the fall of 2013 as one of 76 HBCUs vying for the final 48 slots. Through countless hours of study, drills and practice, FAMU emerged, knowledgeable and ready to take on the competition. Last year, FAMU came in second to the reigning champions Morgan State and will compete against a field of 47 teams to return the championship to FAMU.

The competitors will be split into eight divisions and will compete in a modified round-robin format. The top two teams from each division will advance to the “Sweet 16” and will compete in a single elimination playoff. The final two teams that emerge from the playoffs will compete for the title of National Champions and the grand prize of $50,000. The grand prize, along with the other institutional grants, will support academic activities at the participating HBCUs.

Celebrating 25 years of HBCU excellence, the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States.

“Honda Campus All-Star Challenge rewards the best and brightest for their academic achievements and prepares our student competitors for life beyond school by reinforcing their strong work ethic and introducing them to a thriving community of alumni,” said Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president for Corporate and Community Relations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We look forward to hosting the 25th anniversary class in California and treating them to a fun, four days of healthy competition.”

The 2014 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge finals will be streamed live on April 14 starting at noon Eastern Standard Time on www.hcasc.com.

For more information on the 2014 HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit: www.hcasc.com.

Photo: (From left to right) Roslyn Shanklin, Kimberlyn Elliott, Coach Vivian Hobbs, Baysha Bernales and Aubrey Upshur III.

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