Oklahoma State commit and No. 1 overall recruit in 2021 Cade Cunningham has many wondering about a possible departure from the Cowboy’s men’s basketball program after they received a postseason ban for next season. While speculation about his future swirls, he is using the platform he has as a highly regarded prospect to join the cavalcade of athletes speaking out on racial injustice and white supremacy.
In an interview with Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Cunningham challenged the institutions of our country to be better, but stuck with his own lived experiences as well. The 18-year-old, who was born in Arlington, Texas, and played high school ball in Montverde, Florida, decried the lack of educational opportunities for Black Americans as well as the simplistic Civil Rights curriculum put in front of white students.
Strong perspective from the top prospect in the 2020-21 class. pic.twitter.com/oApRGHVlvU
— Stadium (@Stadium) June 10, 2020
“A good start for us would be the educational system and educating black people better,” Cunningham said, “and not having people growing up and the only thing they learn about black history is slavery.”
Even amid the events of the past week-plus, Cunningham maintains optimism that how we craft young people can have a positive impact on society.
“I don’t think racism’s born into anybody, I think it’s taught,” Cunningham said. “We’re all one race, and I think if everybody’s taught that from a young age, I think that’ll change the mindset of a bigger mass of people.”
Cunningham is already among the favorites for the top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, but isn’t waiting until he turns pro to take advantage of his platform as an athlete.