Root for Howard University and visit these Black-owned businesses in Des Moines

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  • Published on March 14, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Passport

Howard University makes the NCAA tournament for the first time in over 30 years. Support the team and these local businesses before tip-off.

Howard University athletics has been the talk of the collegiate sports world. Their swim team was the first all-Black HBCU collegiate swimming team to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. Head Coach Nic Askew led the Howard Bison to win the 2023 Northeast Conference Championship. That was the team’s first championship win in more than 30 years. With hopes of keeping the streak going, Howard’s men’s basketball team has entered the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 1992.

On Thursday, the 16th-seed Bison will face off with the 1st-seed Kansas Jayhawks. This is the exact match that knocked Howard out of the brackets in 1992. Team captain Jelani Williams told Fox 5 TV of D.C. that the team was “excited and grateful” to be back in the tournament.

“It took a lot of work for us to get to this moment right here,” Williams said. “Getting to see Howard pop up on that screen (on the Selection Sunday show) for the first time in 31 years, I’m extremely grateful. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to play our brand of ball. We’re going to have a good day of practice (Monday) and go up there and try to get a win.”

Most fans will watch the critical game on TBS on March 16 at 1 p.m. EST. However, if you’re one of the lucky fans at the tipoff at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, here are a few businesses you can support while rooting on the Bison.

Veggie Thumper Food Truck

Elevating consciousness through food awareness, Veggie Thumper Food Truck provides access to high-quality vegan cuisine to Des Moines residents and visitors.

G.G.’s Chicken and Waffles

Established in 2019, G.G.’s promises to bring to you one thing: flavor. Because why eat if you’re not going to taste it? Owner G.G. learned to fry chicken during the years that he spent cooking fried chicken for his local church.

Uncle Jay’s Barbering Company

Uncle Jay’s has been providing Des Moines with fresh cuts for over three years. While you go to the barbershop for a haircut, you go to Uncle Jay’s for an experience.

Bottle & Bottega

A stroke of artistic genius paints a totally new picture of what is possible when friends, couples or colleagues get together for an art party. Bottle & Bottega’s painting studio is an experience unlike any other. They offer the perfect activity and venue for celebrations such as birthdays, bridal showers, and team building.

Lisa Lou’s Boutique and Beauty

Whether you’re going to church, a business meeting or the club, Lisa Lou’s has you covered. Shop their latest items to refresh your wardrobe. They have trendy women’s clothing, with plus sizes available, too.