Charles Barkley Pledges $1M Each To St. Mary’s Academy High School And Auburn University

Former NBA player Charles Barkley has pledged to donate money to young Black girls at a New Orleans high school and his alma mater, Auburn University, to ensure they have the opportunity to make something of themselves.

According to, the “Inside the NBA” host has pledged to donate $1 million to St. Mary’s Academy after viewing a segment about two former students from the school on a recent episode of “60 Minutes.” The news program showcased former students Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson for using trigonometry to prove the 2,000-year-old Pythagorean Theorem. Scholars previously believed that it could not be done. Knowing that these two students were able to prove that wrong, the NBA Hall of Famer was moved to donate to the school.

“These beautiful Black women, man, they’re just the high achievers,” Barkley said. “A lot is demanded of everybody at the school—high excellence. And these two young Black women did something in mathematics that was incredible. It just inspired me.”

Barkley has also pledged to donate $1 million to the women’s athletics department at Auburn University, where he played Division 1 basketball before being drafted into the NBA.

“I just want to make sure I always take care of the women at Auburn because I worry about them more than anything during this NIL movement,” he said. “Everybody’s worried about football and basketball. I just want to make sure the women know I’ve got a lot of love and appreciation for them.”

Barkley’s generosity has been well-documented. Just last year, he said he was changing his will by redesignating the $5 million he will leave to Auburn for scholarships for low-income Black students.

“That’s just my way of trying to make sure Auburn stays diverse,” he said last June.

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