Jackson State University Head Coach T.C. Taylor, Orange Blossom Classic Executive Director Kendra Bulluck, Florida A&M University Head Coach Willie Simmons.


Submitted by Elora Mason


The Orange Blossom Classic (OBC), the iconic event affectionally known as the “Black National Championship” game, is set to make their triumphant return to Miami Gardens with the must-see rematch between Florida A&M Rattlers and Jackson State University Tigers on Sunday, September 3rd. After a 43-year hiatus, this is the 3rd installment since the revival in 2021. The OBC has captured the essence of HBCU culture and is ready to kick off its highly anticipated 2023 edition. They held an official kick-off press conference to highlight the major impacts and plans of Denny’s Orange Blossom Classic presented by Ready Life. Following the press conference, a private reception was held to celebrate the rich tradition of HBCU culture under this year’s theme, “The Reunion.”


Senior Lead Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Enterprise HBCU Strategy Wells Fargo Dewey Norwood Jr., JSU Head Coach T.C. Taylor, FAMU National Alumni Association President Curtis E. Johnson, FAMU Head Coach Willie Simmons, Founder & CEO Ready Life Ashley D. Bell.

“Three years ago, we proclaimed that we were back! This year, we assure you that we don’t intend to go anywhere. The Orange Blossom Classic is here to stay”, professed Kendra Bulluck, Orange Blossom Classic Committee Executive Director. Bulluck, after thanking sponsors and partners explained, “We offer the following because numbers help to tell our whole truth and how the return of the Orange Blossom Classic has aided in an unparalleled recharge of the region. In just 24 months, the cumulative fiscal OBC impact reported in Miami-Dade and Broward County is a $33 million shot in the arm with approximately 9,000 jobs supported. Additionally, our combined sponsor-supported efforts have provided almost $2 million in support to the participating academic institutions”.

Renowned head coaches T.C. Taylor from Jackson State University and Willie Simmons from Florida A&M University provided insights into their respective teams’ journey and the significance of the 2023 FAMU vs. JSU game on the road to the Celebration Bowl.

The Orange Blossom Classic Committee organized the kick-off press conference to also announce a strategic alliance with the Recording Academy Black Music Collective. “It’s my absolute pleasure to announce that the Recording Academy Black Music Collective and the Orange Blossom Classic have formed an alliance to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their bands”, explained via video, Recording Academy Black Music Collective Chair, Rico Love. “Our first initiative is to celebrate HBCU bands during Black Music Month, highlighting their talent and cultural significance. Our goal is to amplify their voices and promote their achievements. We are excited to collaborate with the Orange Blossom Classic Committee on this exciting project”.

Esteemed speakers at the press conference also included, Chairman Oliver G. Gilbert, III of the Miami-Dade County Commission, Councilman Reggie Leon from the City of Miami Gardens, Angela Adams Suggs, President & CEO of the Florida Sports Foundation, Ashley D. Bell, Founder & CEO of Ready Life, and the press conference was moderated by Miami Heat Radio Play-by-Play and TV Host Jason Jackson.

The Denny’s Orange Blossom Classic consists of multiple events focused on community, education, empowerment, and family fun. Attendees flock to the event for a Sunday afternoon of partying in the stands, watching the players leave it all on the gridiron and to witness the high-stepping, bass line-dropping JSU’s Sonic Boom of the South and FAMU’s world-renowned, Incomparable Marching 100 bring the Rattler strike! Leading up to the game, must attend events include the Parade, Luncheon, newly added Step Show, Battle of the Bands and so much more. For tickets and complete Denny’s Orange Blossom Classic Presented by Ready Life events list, visit Video coverage of the press conference is available via Facebook @orangeblossomfc.

About Carma Henry 22956 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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