Shannon Sharpe Talks Home Depot Retool Your School
HBCU‘s are the pride of Black academia in America and often times they are not as privileged to have the funding that other PWI’s do. Fortunately, companies like Home Depot are not only aware of that issue, but they’re willing to do something about it.
Monday afternoon in Atlanta, Shannon Sharpe, Rickey Smiley, and Laz Alonso linked up with the good folks at Home Depot for the $500,000 giveaway finale of the company’s Retool Your School campaign.
Nine HBCU’s were awarded $50,000 a piece to rejuvenate parts of the campus that are in need. In order to receive the money, each college had to come up with a campaign to tally the most votes from consumers and one school secured the bag with the first ever “Campaign of the Year Award”.
BOSSIP got a chance to speak to Super Bowl Champion and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe at the event and got some insight on how he got involved and what his HBCU, Savannah State University, means to him:
BOSSIP: How did you first get involved with Home Depot Retool Your School?
Shannon Sharpe: Anytime it’s something to help historically Black college, I want to be involved. I went to an HBCU understand the economic hardships that a lot of these institutions face and Home Depot is doing a really good thing today. The Shannon Sharpe you see here was cultivated at Savannah from 1986-1989 I had some great professors and doctors who cared about me and help me find out about myself. This is my chance to pay Savannah State back and those professors who took time to instill wisdom and knowledge in me.
I wish we could have a $20 million endowment like Harvard but this is a really good opportunity for myself, Rickey (Smiley) who went to Alabama State, to give back. I don’t think a lot of people realize that I went to an HBCU. Most times they assume if you went to the NFL or played professional sports that you went to Notre Dame or Michigan or Nebraska or something like that.
BOSSIP: What advice would you give high school athletes who want to play professionally but are afraid that they won’t get the exposure at an HBCU that they would at a PWI?
SS: When I went to Savannah State my college coach, Bill Davis, God rest his soul, told me “Son, if you’re good, they’ll find you.” Because I was gonna transfer to the University of Miami, but I believed I was that good. I believed the NFL would find me. I believed that once I got to the NFL I would show that my skill set was as good or better than all those guys. I’m a “prove it” type of guy, ok, you don’t have to believe me.
None of this would be happening without Home Depot Senior Marketing Manager Melissa Brown. Her vision to make this campaign a success and her love of HBCUs has created an incredible opportunity for our beloved schools to look their best and represent themselves proudly.
Special shout out to the Westlake High School marching band who pulled up to keep the packed auditorium entertained.