SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 8, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Jazz owner Ryan Smith has announced that for every Utah win this season, the team will offer a four-year college scholarship to an “underrepresented or minority student.”
The new owner told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the new governing group is using its platform to “drive proper changes that, frankly, should have been done a long time ago,” says a statement on the NBA website.
This program appears to be the first of its kind by an NBA team awarding scholarships based on their nightly performance, the NBA statement says.
“It’s not only to give folks money who wouldn’t have had a chance,” Smith said. “A lot of people don’t know how to get the process going of getting into college.”
Smith told Wojnarowski that this group plans to speak with different universities about multiple scholarship opportunities for prospective students who might not have had the ability to attend or afford school otherwise.
“We will go to universities and say, ‘Hey, we want five or six scholarships, guaranteed, we’re going to bring kids who have never had a chance to do this into your university,'” Smith said. “And we’re going to help cover the cost, will you accept them?”
The Jazz had a perfect 3-0 record in the preseason and have added four more wins in their first seven regular season games, the statement says. Seven academic scholarships could be available at the moment, according to Smith.