CHARLOTTE - In response to a year of social unrest in their city, members of the Charlotte Hornets have created the Charlotte Hornets Players Scholarship Fund.

It will award two, separate $60,000 college scholarships to current seniors at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

"It was Kemba (Walker's) idea," said forward Marvin Williams. "It was his way to kind of speak up. It's his way of sending a positive message."

The scholarship covers $15,000 per year for each student to pursue a bachelor's or associate's degree at a public North Carolina higher education institution of his or her choice.

"We truly believe we can directly provide the tools through education that will have a life-long impact," said Walker

In addition, members of the Hornets will focus on mentoring the students, connecting with them in their transition to college -- shopping for supplies, communicating regularly, and hosting the students and their families at games.

"It's the best part to be hands on, follow the kid through his or her college years," Williams said. "To be able to share that experience with them will be the best part."

Those interested in applying for one of the scholarships should apply online at hornets.com. The deadline for submission is Feb. 15.

Students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a CMS senior graduating from an accredited high school this academic year
  • Earn a minimum of a 2.5 GPA
  • Demonstrate need for financial assistance
  • Plan to enroll full-time in a bachelor's or associate's degree program at an accredited public North Carolina higher education institution in the fall directly after graduating high school