CIAA

HBCU grad Steve Settle Jr. gives assists to help upgrade facilities

Former HBCU basketball player Steve Settle Jr. is giving back to his alma mater and others in memory of his late father.

Steve Settle Jr. was raised by HBCU graduates, graduated from one himself, and his oldest son just won a championship with one. Needless to say, HBCUs are in his blood.

In addition to being the father of recent Howard University star Steve Settle III, Settle is now the director of SettleHelps. SettleHelps is a non-profit that exists to help HBCUs by donating resources to assist in educating tomorrow’s leaders. The program has raised money for Maryland-Eastern Shore and Johnson C. Smith over the past couple of years and is now gearing up for a golf tournament to raise funds for Lincoln (PA) University. 

The organization was founded in memory of the late Steve Settle Sr., a longtime educator in the Prince George’s County school system. 

“It was kind of started with him in mind to try to memorialize him around something that was very positive, around something he was very passionate for education and also sports,” Settle told HBCU Gameday.

Steve Settle Jr. and the late Steve Settle Sr.

His mother, Mary Settle, is the president of the SettleHelps Board. 

“The first thing she wanted to do was set up an endowment in my father’s name at his alma mater, Elizabeth City State University. So we did that, and then after we completed that work, we decided to branch off and work with other historically black colleges and universities.”

To date, SettleHelps, along with the Steve Settle Sr. Memorial Fund has donated over $70,000 to HBCUs through philanthropic efforts. That includes a golf tournament heading into its fifth year. This year’s event will take place on Oct. 6 at The Country Club at Woodmere in Maryland. 

Steve Settle

Settle gives back to his alma mater

That $70,000 included $25,000 to Johnson C. Smith University that helped the school re-surface six on-campus tennis courts. That gave Settle Jr. a chance to give back to his alma mater as he played for JCSU for Steve Joyner Sr. from 1989 through 1993.

“I think that — going there myself —  across town at UNC Charlotte, they a had beautiful campus — grass everywhere,” Settle said. “And we always felt like if we got to a position in life where we could kind of reach back and help with that, we would because they do have a need.”


Settle arrived in Charlotte from Waldorf, MD as a self-described ‘point guard that could score a little bit.’ He just so happened to play with Columbus Parker and Mark Sherrill — two of the top seven scorers in CIAA history. Needless to say, he had to find other ways to contribute on Beatties Ford Rd.

Fast forward 30 years later, Settle is getting assists from his teammates as the foundation continues to push forward.

“I can say that a lot of my teammates that I played with have been very supportive of the golf tournament and have donated their money and time to support it. And so the one thing I think we realize is that when we kind of connect together, people donate. People donated $5, $10 all the way up to $2,000 per person that we’ve had donations from. So we’re just trying to do our part to provide a vehicle for people to support and get behind.”

This year Settle Helps will assist another CIAA program: Lincoln (PA) University.

“They have identified a need for their baseball and softball programs,” Settle said. “So they’re going to buy a new baseball and softball scoreboard for their teams,” Settle said. “I think they’re adopting a pitch count as well for softball and baseball. And so they’ll need to have a pitch count machine as well.”

Helping in that effort is an old friend from Beatties Ford Rd.

“Coach Joyner just sent $500 up to my mom to to add to this year’s support of Lincoln University. I didn’t even know that. And it just kind of tells you about Coach Joyner and, kind of what he believes in and what he’s willing to support.”

To learn more about Settle Helps and its golf tournament, click here.

HBCU grad Steve Settle Jr. gives assists to help upgrade facilities
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