Black Student-Athlete Association connects, inspires WSU community

BSAA educates WSU community at large on Black experience, provides platform for connection



The Black Student Athlete Association would screen movies, like “Just Mercy” before COVID-19 Now they meet via Zoom to provide connections among student athletes.

GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen news co-editor

The Black Student-Athlete Association will be joining other organizations on Feb. 23 to participate in the Ahmaud Arbery Memorial Run to commemorate the life of Arbery, a Black man who was killed by two white men while jogging on Feb. 23, 2020 in Georgia. The event, which is open to everyone in the Pullman community, is one example of the advocacy done by the BSAA and the community of Black student-athletes and allies it creates.

The BSAA’s primary goal is to provide a safe community for allies and members at WSU, said Anna Rodgers, a senior neuroscience and psychology major, WSU long jumper and the president of the BSAA at WSU Pullman.

The BSAA this year is planning to partner with other Black student-lead organizations on campus, such as the Black Student Union, Nesby and other organizations. They are doing this as a way to build the community they have created, Rodgers said

“We didn’t make BSAA just because we’re athletes,” Rodger said. “ We needed a community of peers and athletes, so we have made it a priority this year to try and meet and branch out with as many other peers and allies around the campus.”

It was nice to find a group of student-athletes that are just like herself, said Margie Detrizio, junior WSU soccer player and a member of the BSAA.

“The trivia nights are probably the most interactive,” Detrizio said about the different events the BSAA holds. “You’re playing against other fellow athletes and obviously athletes are very competitive, so I think that was probably the best memory.”

Ever since Rodgers started at WSU she has been a part of the BSAA.

“It was just a community I got to know, meet some of my peers and share more stuff that we’d related to and similar experiences we’ve gone through outside of athletics. Which especially as a freshman was really important,” she said.

The BSAA can provide education for the general public and staff at WSU as well as those who are willing to learn. The BSAA is there for both fun times and more serious educational purposes, Rodgers said.

Last summer the association participated in the program Impact, in which student-athletes from the Pac-12, ACC and the Big 10 traveled to Selma to do a civil rights and social justice experience.

At the end of 2023, the BSAA will be traveling to California to attend its yearly summit, Rodgers said.

“I know that as a whole group that experience is always a highlight at the end of the year, especially meeting other organizations at schools across the country,” Rodgers said.

WSU has been one of the first successful BSAA organizations in the country and they have had a lot of other schools reach out to them, Rodgers said.

“They want to build something like we have here [at WSU],” Rodgers said.