It started with Sandi Hutchinson. A Norfolk State alumna, she began attending the CIAA Tournament when she was in school. She’s gone to 45 CIAA tournaments, only missing one to give birth to her eldest daughter, Tiffani Sykes.
Ms. Sykes, who grew up attending the tournament during its time in Virginia during the 1990s, decided that she wanted to attend an HBCU, even though none inititally offered her a scholarship. She would end up graduating from Virginia State, going on to grad school at Grambling and working as a Sports Information Director at Virginia Union and St. Paul’s before ending up overseeing Norfolk State’s student-athlete’s eligibility.
Ms. Hutchinson’s youngest daughter, Alexxis, also found her way to the world of HBCUs and sports. She graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a degree in sports management, and went on to earn a MBA with emphasis in Sports and Law while working at the CIAA. She moved on to IMG Collegiate and is now working at Old Dominion.