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Washington, DC – Students from the University of the District of Columbia will test their academic prowess against brainpower from America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at the 25th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament. Hundreds of HBCU students have spent the past year diligently preparing to compete in the final round of this unique academic tournament, April 12-16, 2014, on the campus of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in Torrance, California.

This year's road to the championship began in the fall of 2013, with 76 HBCUs vying for the final 48 slots. Through countless hours of study, drills and practice, elite teams emerged, knowledgeable and ready to take on the competition. The UDC Firebird team came in at second place in the qualifying round. Their goal is to beat Morgan State University, the reigning national champions with two consecutive titles.

The competitors will be split into eight divisions and compete in a modified round-robin format. The top two teams from each division will advance to the "Sweet 16" and compete in a single elimination playoff. The final two teams that emerge from the playoffs will compete for the Championship Title and the grand prize of $50,000.

Interim President, Dr. James E. Lyons, stated, "The University of the District of Columbia community is excited about our team representing us in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. We are behind them 100% and know that they represent the best in academic excellence."

Dr. Lyons has made a friendly wager with Morgan State University President, Dr. David Wilson, who is hoping for a 'three-peat' from his national championship team.

Representing the University of the District of Columbia are Nequil Taborn, of Washington, DC, Robin Gilbrecht of Cupertino, CA, Andreas Levar Smith of Washington, DC, and Maria Helena Thompson of San Antonio, TX will represent University of the District of Columbia. Dr. Willie Faye Garrett will coach the Firebird team.

Celebrating 25 years of HBCU excellence, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda's largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives. Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $7 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of over 100,000 students across 22 states.

"Honda Campus All-Star Challenge rewards the best and brightest for their academic achievements and prepares our student competitors for life beyond school by reinforcing their strong work ethic and introducing them to a thriving community of alumni," said Steve Morikawa, Assistant Vice President, Corporate and Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We look forward to hosting the 25th anniversary class in California and treating them to a fun, four days of healthy competition."

For more information on the 2014 HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit Connect with HCASC via social media for updates on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #HCASC.

The finals of the 2014 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge will be Live Streamed on Monday, April 14th starting at 12 noon Eastern Time on and other outlets.

About Honda Campus All-Star Challenge: In 1989, Honda, with the College Bowl Company created the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) in support of the unique mission of America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Historical data about the program is available at

Contact: Michael C. Rogers, Vice President of University Advancement, 202.274.5314 or

The University of the District of Columbia ( supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across its colleges and schools: the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences; the School of Business and Public Administration; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; the Community College; and the David A. Clarke School of Law. The University has been designated as an 1862 federal land-grant institution and a Historically Black College and University.

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University's EO Policy Statement, please visit

The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267.284.5000.