The Black Male Athlete Experience at Rice

Join us in a conversation as five former black male-student athletes discuss how race impacted their experience here at Rice University. Focusing primarily on basketball and football, Rice has had many black males matriculate through the university with many commonalities and few differences. Currently in the NCAA, black males account for over half of the student athletes participating in basketball and football. Does being a majority in sport alleviate the hardships created by being a minority in the classroom? Is the experience on campus reflective of America as a society or does Rice differ in its treatment of black male student athletes? This discussion will focus on being perceived as a threat, peer influence, black mentorship, discrimination and cultural barriers. Learn from five men of color as they discuss their experience guided by questions from Van Green, Assistant Coach of the Rice Men’s Basketball team. This event, “The Black Male Athlete Experience at Rice” will take place May 5th at 6pm. Please join us as we engage in fruitful, educational conversation.



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About the Presenter and Panelists

Van Green, Presenter
Van Green, originally from Birmingham, AL, is currently serving as an Assistant Coach for the Rice Men’s Basketball Team. Green came to Houston after completing four years at Columbia University, majoring in Psychology. In the fall of 2014, he became a Graduate Student in the MAT program while playing basketball at Rice on an athletic scholarship. Green student-taught at Bellaire High School for the spring semester of 2016 and taught English in Alabama for the school year of 2016-2017. He came back to Rice in the spring of 2017 to join the basketball staff as video coordinator and became an Assistant Coach a year later. Green is gearing up to celebrate his one year anniversary with his wife, Jessica, in June.

Raymorris Barnes
Originally from Biloxi, Mississippi, Raymorris Barnes arrived in Houston in the fall of 2000 on an athletic scholarship to Rice University. He received a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s in the Arts of Teaching while becoming a 4 year letterman on the football team. He has taught various grade levels of English as well as coached varsity football and varsity track while working in Pearland ISD. He arrived in Spring Branch in 2011 as a grade level assistant principal at Northbrook High School. He is a 10 year Spring Branch ISD administrator and now serves as principal of Stratford High School.

He was recently named Spring Branch ISD’s secondary principal of the year. Raymorris has made a career out of educating students not only about the importance of academics, but also about the importance of being a positive contributor to society. Raymorrs and his wife, Erica, have four children together.

Byron Godfrey
Byron Godfrey was born and raised in Houston, Texas to a retired firefighter and administrative assistant who instilled physical strength, hard work, and dedication in him from birth. This carried him to playing football at Rice University on an athletic scholarship graduating in 1999 with a bachelor’s in political science and sociology. While at Rice, he assisted the strength and conditioning coaches with programming for the football, swimming, and tennis teams. This was the beginning of a passion for strength and conditioning. After college, this hunger continued as a high school teacher and football coach. In 2004, Byron opened Misfit Strength and Conditioning where he now trains hundreds of clients to reach their physical and mental goals. Additionally, he is the wellness center director for Memorial Clinical Associates. He is a devoted father of four.

Cliff Ghoram
As a former starting guard for the Rice Owls Basketball team, Cliff Ghoram continued his basketball career professionally playing for teams in Chile and Nova Scotia. After retiring, Cliff began his corporate career at Constellation Energy, where he worked in retail power operations. Constellation Energy highlights include, Cliff specializing in creating lean systems, managing company projects which led to him being selected to ring the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the company’s Fortune 100 status.

As a proven leader at the intersection of the energy sector and technology, Cliff brought his analytical expertise to Teleios Commodities. Throughout his career, Cliff has valued mentorship and the development of others through various programs and organizations. Cliff holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Business from Rice University, and a Master’s in Maritime Administration and Logistics from Texas A&M University. Cliff is from Baton Rouge, LA and currently resides in Houston, TX with his wife Noelle and 1-year old daughter.

Brent Scott
Brent Scott made his way to Rice University in the fall of 1989 by way of Lansing, Michigan on a basketball scholarship. He finished his career as the school's all-time leader in points (1,906) and rebounds (1,049). He currently sits second in both categories. Scott also holds program records for free throws made and attempted. After his college career, Scott played professionally for 14 years, including a 16-game stint in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers in 1997. He won the 2000 Spanish National Championship with Real Madrid. He spent 13 years with First Division-level European teams while playing in the 1994 Greek, 1997 Spanish and 1998 and 2001 Italian All-Star Games.

Scott is currently an assistant coach for VCU. He served as an assistant for LSU and for Rice on two separate occasions. In October 2015, Scott was inducted into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. He also became the seventh player in program history to have his jersey honored in January 2016. Scott and his wife, Brooke, have two daughters, Brekayla and Berklee.

Michael Warren
Michael Warren is a Texas native who graduated with his B.A. from Rice in 2016. He is currently working for Strategic Analysis, Inc., a government service firm based out of Arlington, Virginia. Additionally, he serves as a law clerk to the Office of General Counsel for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he provides legal assistance to DARPA attorneys and government stakeholders. Before law school, Michael gained pivotal litigation and transactional experience supporting corporate clients as a paralegal for Covington & Burling, LLP and Ashby, LLP. He is currently pursuing a J.D. part-time at the Georgetown University Law center.



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