Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson Give Back to Clark Atlanta University With a Special Renovation

The Married to Real Estate hosts had nine weeks to renovate a men’s college basketball lounge before the start of the season. Here’s a play-by-play on how it all went down.

Egypt and Mike shoot around at Clark Atlanta University.

Egypt and Mike shoot around at Clark Atlanta University.

When Coach Alfred Jordan, head of men's basketball at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, reached out to his friend, Married to Real Estate co-host Mike Jackson, for help renovating CAU's players lounge, he was all in. However, when he told his wife and co-host Egypt Sherrod what their next project would involve, she reacted with some hesitation. “We’ve never made over a men’s gym area before!” she said. But Mike’s excitement quickly pulled Egypt on board: It was game on!

Coach Jordan emphasizes the “student” in “student athlete,” and he's always dreamed of having a space for his players to study and relax. When the school received a generous $100,000 donation for creating a lounge area next to the gym, that dream became a reality.

Renovating the Locker Room

Egypt and Mike wanted to create a cozy, inspirational hangout space that feels like a home away from home for the players. The project’s must-haves included a lounge, recreation and study space. Egypt joked she wanted to give the space a feminine touch saying, “If this were a girl’s locker room, we’d have painted or wallpapered the cinder block!” They ultimately went for a warmed-up industrial vibe, which features mood lighting and a brick wall. The new, dedicated study station has lots of outlets for laptop charging, while the lounge area boasts comfy seating and a flat screen. The final touch: a dry bar for storing drinks and snacks.

Egypt found a local muralist to paint the walls with quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young.

Egypt found a local muralist to paint the walls with quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young.

Plenty of snacks await the players in the new team room.

Plenty of snacks await the players in the new team room.

It’s no secret colleges have to compete to attract top athletes, many offering special amenities such as massage and game rooms to set themselves apart. So in addition to the other spaces, Coach Al suggested something unique: a two-seat barber shop. “This project was a lot of firsts,” says Egypt. “Renovating a men’s gym area and creating a barber shop.”

Egypt and Mike's sleek barber shop design.

Egypt and Mike's sleek barber shop design.

Because CAU is a historically Black college, Egypt wanted to include some inspirational quotes from prominent Black leaders. She engaged a local muralist to paint the walls with quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and Andrew Young, “People who have meant a lot to the city of Atlanta,” she says.

In the end, the renovation was a slam dunk; it went above and beyond Coach Al's expectations. “I can’t believe this is the same space,” he said during the reveal. “Egypt and Mike have given everything a whole new feel that will take us into the next era. Hopefully we’ll be adding trophies and some celebratory cut down nets to the decor.”

Stream the full episode, Education in Design (Season 3, episode 8) on Max. Season 3 of Married to Real Estate airs on Thursday nights at 9|8c on HGTV (and will be available to stream starting the same day and time on Max).

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