Stephen A. Smith, brings ESPN's 'First Take' broadcast to Delaware

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- From the floor to the rafters, energy was sky high for a special broadcast on Friday.

Former Philadelphia sports columnist Stephen A. Smith brought his show "First Take" - which airs on Action News' sister network, ESPN- to the center court of the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware, for HBCU week.

Smith was named city ambassador to promote awareness about the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"For me to be a graduate of it, knowing what HBCUs did for me- not just my career, but my life- become the man that I am, professional that I am, and accomplished the things that I've accomplished," Smith told Action News on Friday before the broadcast.

Smith added, "You got folks, particularly from impoverished communities, having an opportunity to be able to be enrolled in an HBCU, and potentially get a scholarship as well, I just think it's a great cause."

A marching band from his alma mater Winston Salem State University flanked Smith as he introduced the show.

NBA legend Magic Johnson was a special guest.

Earlier, the line wrapped around the building with people trying to get in.

Jeffrey Henry of Middletown, Delaware exclaimed, "Stephen A. Smith and Magic Johnson- best two in the world!"

Andre Anderson of Middletown, Delaware added, "Del State showed up- they bringing in by the busload, and it's beautiful to see. Young black folks doing something positive."

Students from Girard College High School clutched their resumes. They were headed to the broadcast, then onto the college fair, being held in the same building.

Gideon Green shared, "We're here today because we would like to hopefully be admitted on sight to an HBCU, and my dreams would be fulfilled today."

People starting showing up around 2:30 a.m. Friday, hoping to be in the audience.

Jordan Ricks of Wilmington arrived first.

"To have it in Wilmington, it means so much. It means so much. We're really small, but if people do their homework, they understand how much we contribute to the rest of the country," Ricks told 6abc.

When Cecil Little Jr. heard Magic Johnson was coming, he drove from Maryland in his LA Lakers gear.

"I'm a graduate of Hampton University so I support HBCUs all the way. So I think it's good to bring attention to the positive things the HBCU's provide the community," Little explained.

"The purpose of HBCU week is to expose our high school-aged population to HBCUs and to encourage them to consider them for higher learning opportunities," said Ashley Christopher, who started the event which is now in its third year..

Nine-year-old kid journalist Tiana Sirmans of New Castle arrived around 3:45 a.m. with her mother. There's no school Friday, and she wanted to be here.

"Today I'm here because I love all the stuff that HBCU schools are doing, especially all the scholarships they're giving, and I'm actually not very too young to look to my future and decide what HBCU I'm going to," Sirmans said.
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