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Howard University Swim & Dive Team Makes History

Source: The Washington Post / Getty / Howard University

Who said Black people couldn’t swim? Howard University’s swim and dive team is making a big splash and history at the same damn time.

The Howard Bison have made history after becoming the first all-Black swim and dive team to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, earning a well-deserved spotlight in the sports publication while kick-splashing the idea that Black people are no fans of water and swimming.

Howard is the only Historical Black College or University with a swim team. While racking up wins, The Bison are also breaking records.

Sports Illustrated highlighted the team to kick off Black History Month to spotlight the team’s accomplishments in the predominately white sport. The magazine spoke with the Bison’s coach Nic Askew.

“This is about our mission as a university and the message we want to send as an HBCU…,” Askew told Sports Illustrated. “This isn’t a bunch of Black people in a pool; it’s young Black men and women succeeding in a sport that, for years, has shut them out of this experience.

The Howard University Swim Team Features Athletes From Different Countries

Per Hilltop, the team brings together many athletes from different countries in the Americas and the Caribbean, with each team member already being accomplished athletes before joining Howard’s team.

Blavity spoke with women’s team captain Raychel Fauntroy, a Miami native who is a senior at Howard University. She has been swimming competitively for the past decade.

“We love what we do. We chose a sport and stuck to it for around 10+ years, which most of us have. We love it so much … there are people on the team willing to teach people how to swim and water safety,” she detailed. We volunteer at swim clubs and teach them tips and tricks to be successful. I’m proud to say that I’ve been a part of the team and am very grateful to have had this experience. Howard University swim and dive has a familial bond and a team unlike any other,” she told the website.

Currently, the men’s (6-2) and women’s (5-3) have an excellent chance to capture the Northeast Conference crown.

Black excellence we love to see.

Photo: The Washington Post / Getty