Divine Nine Come Together to Promote Unity, Community and the HBCU Experience
For the first time in frat game history, a grandfather and grandson duo played on the same team. Daniel Tabor and his grandson, Gilbert Williams-Lyons teamed up to deliver the Kappas a Championship. (Photo by Kim Walters)
On Sunday, August 29 at Darby Park in Inglewood, the Noble Men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. defeated the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to claim the 2021 Frat Games softball championship. The “Nupes” defeated the top-seated Men of Alpha 12-10 to win the championship, breaking the previous two-year winning streak held by the Men of Phi Beta Sigma.
The Frat Games, which are held annually, is more than just a sporting competition; it is an annual event where members of all of the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities come together to form volunteer sports teams and unite, to engage in friendly competition, and share in a time of fraternalism, fellowship and of course, competitive banter. The teams are comprised of members of each fraternal organization who reside in the Los Angeles community, representing various colleges and universities from across the U.S.
This year’s games kicked off July 11, and continued for seven additional weeks, culminating in a highly-competitive and well-attended Championship Weekend. The championship weekend brought out members of all of the National Pan Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities, students and graduates from a variety of HBCU’s and featured Greek organization cookout, along with the highly-anticipated game.
In addition to the events and energy of the Championship Weekend’s events, each of the previous weeks gathering added their own level of excitement with weekly themes, including a mix of Sorority Days, HBCU Days, Family Days and much more. In addition to the competition and weekly themes, all of the organizations used these gathering to promote community service and provide vital resources to the youth of our communities. Annually, the games have included a backpack drive, where each fraternity and sorority ask their members, as well as any guest in attendance, to bring and donate backpacks loaded with school supplies to the games. These donations are collected and annually donated to a local elementary school to provide school supplies to needy students.
This year, with an eye towards pandemic recovery, free rapid COVID-19 testing was provided. All attendees were encouraged to wear masks and to get vaccinated. Along with free testing and vaccinations, fans were provided free “Forever Friends” hand sanitizer which was distributed on behalf of LA County Probation.
Like any good picnic or other Black event there was moving music throughout the games, which was provided by Cameron Jackson (Controlling All Music) and Gerald “Flash” Reneau (The Party General).
The frat games were first established in 1963, and has been a regular staple in the Inglewood community for nearly 60 years. This annual event brings together current undergrad students, college graduates, trade professionals, executives, business owners, parents, teens and children. On a weekly basis, the frat games averaged over 200 attendees, including students and members of several community youth organizations. “Part of the beauty of this year’s event was having all of these young people in attendance. Before and after the games, they got a chance to see fraternities and sororities step; they got a chance to ask questions about the HBCU college and fraternity experience. I think this is one of the largest gatherings of Black college educated men and women at a public event, where our young people get a chance to really understand what the Black College Experience is all about,” stated Daniel Tabor – Coach and member of the Kappa Alpha Psi’s championship team.
This year’s games were especially memorable as well as historic for Daniel Tabor and his wife, Krishna Tabor. Tabor had the opportunity to play in the frat games with his grandson, Gilbert Williams-Lyons, who recently became a Kappa Man, as well as a graduate of Norfolk State. This was the first time a grandfather and grandson were teammates in Frat Games history.
Kappa Alpha Psi suffered two losses during the regular season; once to the reigning champions, the Men of Phi Beta Sigma and the other loss to the Men of Alpha Phi Alpha. But the Kappa Men were able to come back from these earlier defeats and beat both of these teams in the playoffs to claim the coveted Frat Games trophy and reign as the 2021 Frat Game Champions.
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