Utah Jazz Players Surprise Students with Full College Scholarships in Heartfelt Video
The Utah Jazz followed through on a pledge to award a scholarship for each of their wins during the 2020-2021 preseason and regular season
With the NBA's 2020-2021 regular season now concluded, the Utah Jazz made good on their pledge to give away college scholarships for each of their wins this season.
The team ended their preseason and regular season with 55 wins, which locked in full scholarships for 55 lucky students from underrepresented groups in the state.
On Wednesday, the Jazz posted a YouTube video that showed players surprising students with the awards. They'll attend one of six schools, including Brigham Young University, Southern Utah University, University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, and Weber State University.
"The scholarship awards will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition, books, fees, and room and board," the team said in a statement. "So there was shock, disbelief — and incredible joy as the Utah Jazz players spoke with the students."
According to the Jazz, every student selected for a scholarship was in financial need, and 90 percent will be first-generation college students.
Fifty-three percent of the recipients are women, while 47 percent are men, the Jazz said.
"There is a gap between the number of students from ethnically diverse groups in Utah high schools and the number of those students who go on to post-secondary education, according to the Utah System of Higher Education," the team explained. "The Utah Jazz scholarship program seeks to help close that gap, making the state a more equitable place for all.
"Hundreds of students applied for the scholarship," they added. "The recipients were chosen by 10,000 Degrees, a nonprofit that has supported students from low-income backgrounds to and through college for over 40 years."
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The Jazz finished the regular season with 52 wins to earn the first seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
They'll will face the winner of the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies game on Friday, and the first playoff game between the teams is scheduled for Sunday at 9:30 PM EST on TNT.