Before tip-off, Knight — an HBCU alumna herself, who graduated from Shaw University — will sing the United States national anthem live from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Cara will follow with the Canadian national anthem remotely from Toronto.
The NBA will honor the vital role of HBCUs throughout the evening, with musical performances and more. The Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society Choir is set to deliver an original rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” virtually from an iconic on-campus location. The performance is in honor of Clark Atlanta alumnus James Weldon Johnson, an NAACP leader and the songwriter behind the Black national anthem.
Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band and Florida A&M University Marching 100 will also perform during the player introductions from their respective historical campuses. Throughout the game, members of the Divine Nine will introduce performances by Atlanta step teams from Spelman College and Morehouse College.
The 2021 NBA All-Star Game and skills competitions will take place on the same night for the first time this year, with the fun kicking off on TNT at 8 p.m. ET from State Farm Arena.