Vice President Kamala Harris attends Kansas vs. Howard NCAA Tournament game

Nick Wagner/

With Howard University making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992, Vice President and Howard graduate Kamala Harris didn’t want to miss out on the action.

Harris attended the first-round game between No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks and No. 16 Howard on Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Bison lost 96-68, but Harris went into the Howard locker room after the game to deliver a postgame speech. She commended the team’s effort in the game and throughout the season.

“You guys did so good,” Harris told the Howard players. “You played hard; you played until the very last second (and) you made all us Bison so, so proud. You hustled out there. You are smart and disciplined. You put everything you had into the game. That’s what it’s about, right?

“Until the last minute, you guys did that. You didn’t stop until the last second. That is so inspiring. So, you keep playing with chin up and shoulders back because you showed the world who Bison are, right? I mean, literally, what you have done is in historic proportion. I was at Howard back in the day, where we were just happy that there was a game, much less getting to this place.”

Harris then talked about the team’s impact on the Howard alumni base.

“I see Bison literally all over the world, and we’ve been talking about you, this team,” Harris said. “You make us so proud. So I know you may not be feeling great right now, but know who you are. You are excellence. You are hard work. You are powerful, and you are winners. So please know that.”

Harris finished her speech by inviting the team to tour the White House whenever they wanted to play hooky.

The speech left a mark on multiple Howard players.

“The experience was amazing,” said Bison forward Shy Odom. “It’s amazing to know we have people of such power that are affiliated with us and supporting us at the same time.”

“Yeah, just to have someone like that, with such stature in our corner and behind us, supporting us,” forward Steve Settle III added, “it means the world.”