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HBCU Basketball

These top HBCU men’s and women’s players are killing it

Look out, Hampton’s Ashley Bates will steal all of your cookies

Here are our updated rankings on the best women’s and men’s basketball players from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) this season. Not much has changed since we ranked them in January. You’ll get updates on how these top players and others are doing for the rest of this season.


  • No. 5: Angel Golden, Bethune-Cookman (second in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) scoring, leads MEAC in free throw percentage, second in 3-pointers per game)
  • Angel Golden, guard, Bethune-Cookman.

  • No. 4: Niya Mitchell, guard, Texas Southern (leads Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in rebounding, fifth in SWAC scoring)

Niya Mitchell is a guard for Texas Southern.

  • No. 3: Ashley Bates, guard, Hampton (third nationally in steals, second in Big South scoring)

Ashley Bates, guard, Hampton.

  • No. 2: NaJai Pollard, forward, Delaware State (leads MEAC in scoring, second in MEAC rebounding)

Delaware State forward NaJai Pollard.

  • No. 1: Shakyla Hill, guard, Grambling State (fourth nationally in steals; leads SWAC in scoring, assists, steals and minutes)

Grambling guard Shakyla Hill.

Courtesy of Grambling State University

On the bubble: Jackson State’s Chelsea Causey and Tennessee State’s Tia Wooten


  • No. 5: Cletrell Pope, forward, Bethune-Cookman (MEAC’s leading rebounder, 12.3 rebounds per game)

Bethune-Cookman forward Cletrell Pope.

  • No. 4: Martaveous McKnight, guard, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (leads SWAC in scoring, 21.8 points per game)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff guard Martaveous McKnight.

John Weast/Getty Images

  • No. 3: Amir Hinton, guard, Shaw (leads Division II in scoring, 31 PPG)

Shaw guard Amir Hinton (right).

  • No. 2: Jermaine Marrow, guard, Hampton (sixth nationally in scoring, 25.3 PPG)

Hampton guard Jermaine Marrow (second from left).

  • No. 1: RJ Cole, guard, Howard (leads MEAC in scoring, 21.1 PPG, and assists, 6.4 per game)

Howard guard RJ Cole.

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

On the bubble: Howard’s Charles Williams and Norfolk State’s Derrik Jamerson Jr.

Eddie Maisonet is an associate editor for ESPN. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 snapbacks and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”