Skip to main content

Grambling State Tigers Are The New 'Kings Of The SWAC' After They Dethrone The Texas Southern Tigers, Going To First NCAA Tournament

The new "Kings of the SWAC" basketball hail from Northern Louisiana and await their seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Coach Donte Jackson and the Grambling State Tigers are the new "Kings of the SWAC." GSU dethroned TSU with a 75-66 victory at the 2024 SWAC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship, ending 46 years of futility and gaining a berth to the 2024 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

"It is amazing to accomplish something new in Grambling State history," Coach Jackson told HBCU Legends. He continued, "Because it's such a rich tradition of history when it comes to athletics. When you think of Grambling, and you think of all the greats that walked that campus, I mean to accomplish something somebody else hasn't done. It's a surreal moment."

Grambling State University SWAC Championship


Grambling State dominated Texas Southern in the first half, using an outstanding 56% shooting from the floor and a ferocious defense to stymie senior guards PJ Henry and Jonathan Cisse to five points. GSU forward Jourdan Smith was on fire after scoring 16 points in the first half, with nine points coming from hitting three treys from downtown Birmingham. He ended the game as the Tigers' leading scorer with 20 points, three rebounds, and a pair of assists.


The Tiger's leader, senior guard Tra'Michael Moton, was held scoreless during the period but contributed with six assists and one rebound. However, the senior guard got his team cranking after two tense encounters, flagrant fouls, and jarring between squads on the floor. As the momentum started to switch during a Texas Southern run to get the margin to single digit, Moton displayed why he's the team's leader and was named the 2024 SWAC Men's Basketball Tournament Most Valuable Player.

"Tra'Michael Moton is an amazing kid. He's quiet, a leader, and a leader by example. But when he speaks, everybody listens. It's great to see him in this moment and capitalize."

Each time TSU gained ground, Moton and his teammates responded with "Big Play" after "Big Play." Moton's trey with 2:47 gave the G-Men a 71-58 lead en route to securing the SWAC title. "He [Moton] was like, 'I got us coach!" I mean, what confidence. I love that kid," Jackson praised Moton.


Jackson remarked, "People would say we don't make the tournament. You can find something else to talk about!"

Grambling State University Basketball will await the NCAA Selection Committee's announcement of its tourney seeding on Selection Day Sunday. An early ESPN forecast has the Tigers as a No. 16 seed to face Montana State in the first round. Nevertheless, Coach Jackson and the new "Kings of the SWAC" will continue dancing from last night to the "Big Dance."

Congratulations, Grambling State Tigers!


Grambling State Tigers

  • Jourdan Smith - 20 points
  • Jonathan Aku - 6 rebounds
  • Tra'Michael Moton - 7 assists

Texas Southern Tigers

  • Jonathan Cisse - 21 points
  • Deon Stroud - 16 points, 5 rebounds
  • Jaylen Wysinger - 2 assists