Alabama students performing in World Games closing ceremony
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Mason Smith
The 2022 World Games, which starts July 7 in Birmingham, gives an opportunity for athletes to shine in front of people all around the world.
As is custom with such events, the Games will conclude with a ceremony honoring the spirit of competition. The closing ceremony features artists including the legendary Lionel Richie, former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard and rap artist Yung Bleu.
When Yung Bleu takes the stage, however, he’ll be sharing it with members of the Divine 9: historically Black fraternities and sororities.
“The World Games has never featured the Divine 9,” said Steppers Coordinator Leon Moody Sr. “So this would be the very first time and it’s happening right here in the state of Alabama.”
Moody said he was approached by Movement Coordinator Faith Lenhart and Youth Choir Director Megan Rudolph about putting together a step team made of Alabamians.
Most steppers participating in the event are students who attend Miles College or are local to Birmingham, but for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, the team is mostly made of students from the University of Alabama.
“Moody reached out to me saying they needed Sigmas for the World Games,” said John White. “And I took the opportunity to reach out and recruit more fraternity brothers.”
White is a UA graduate, and he is leading the Phi Beta Sigma step team.
“It’s something that I really want to do,” White said. “I feel like it was a great opportunity for myself as well as my fellow brothers in Tuscaloosa.”
One of those fraternity brothers is UA senior Fa’Marlon Mobley Jr.
“I never imagined performing on a stage this big,” Mobley said. “Not many people get this opportunity, so when it comes you just have to take it.”
Mobley said he’s most looking forward to sharing the experience with his father and fellow fraternity brother, Fa’Marlon Mobley Sr., as well as any children he may have in the future.
The closing ceremony is happening July 17 from 8 to 10 p.m. in Birmingham’s Protective Stadium. Tickets are still available and start at around $40 before fees. See what’s available right here.