Charles Barkley to donate $1 million to Alabama A&M University

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 04:  Former NBA player and commentator Charles Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium on April 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 04: Former NBA player and commentator Charles Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium on April 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Charles Barkley is a legend in our state and he’s fun to watch, there’s no doubt.

Tuesday, he announced he’s giving money to a school in his home state, but it’s not his alma mater.  According to our news partner Al.com, Barkley announced on WJOX radio in Birmingham he will donate $1 million apiece to Alabama A&M University in Huntsville and also to Clark Atlanta, another historically black university.

This is the largest individual gift to AAMU in the University’s 141-year history.

“This is a transformational gift to the institution and a true measure of Mr. Barkley’s commitment to advancing educational opportunities,” said President Andrew Hugine, Jr.

AAMU is in the final year of its first-ever capital campaign, “Imagine the Future.”  With Barkley’s gift, the institution has raised nearly $25 million, surpassing its initial goal of $16.25 million.

“Mr. Barkley’s gift truly bolsters our fundraising efforts. We deeply appreciate John Hudson, chair of our capital campaign and a 1996 alumnus, for leading this effort and being the catalyst to spark such a phenomenal gift,” said Archie Tucker, interim vice president for marketing, communication and advancement.

Barkley is from Leeds, Alabama.  He played college basketball at Auburn University and then went to the NBA, playing for Philadelphia, Phoenix and Houston.  He retired after a 16-year career.