Five-star prep prospect Makur Maker has committed to Howard, choosing the Bison over fellow finalists UCLA and Kentucky. He tweeted the decision early Friday morning.
I was the 1st to announce my visit to Howard & other started to dream “what if”. I need to make the HBCU movement real so that others will follow. I hope I inspire guys like Mikey Williams to join me on this journey. I am committing to Howard U & coach Kenny Blakeney #MakerMob— Makur Maker (@MakurMaker) July 3, 2020
Per ESPN, Maker is the first five-star recruit to commit to an HBCU since it began keeping rankings in 2007, and is the No. 16 player in his class. As Maker laid out in the tweet announcing his decision, he hopes the move helps lead to more upper-level prospects signing with HBCUs. Williams — a five-star class of 2023 point guard — has offers from Howard and a number of other HBCUs, and recently hinted that he may be seriously considering that route.
HBCU Gameday wrote about the importance of coaches continuing to pursue elite recruits after the Williams tweet.
We’re still three years from Williams setting foot on a college basketball floor — if he ever does. And tweeting isn’t visiting. Visiting isn’t committing. Committing isn’t signing.
But as North Carolina A&T acting head coach Will Jones told us in May, HBCUs have to at least be in the room and conversation. That may be tough for a kid like Williams, who lives 1,500 miles away from the nearest Division I HBCU, but coaches would be doing a disservice to their institutions if they didn’t put out feelers, especially after his viral tweet.
On Friday, Maker made that firm commitment.
He has entered his name in the NBA Draft but, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, seems likely to land on campus. The 6’11 playmaker — and cousin of Detroit Pistons’ forward Thon Maker — talked about his experience visiting Howard’s campus last year with the Undefeated.
“There’s a lot of business opportunities, a lot of Black leaders here,” Maker said during his visit. “I’ve seen the alumni. I spoke to the president. The opportunity is here.
“It seems like everybody is all in together, everybody knows each other,” he added. “The culture is definitely here. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Howard is coming off a 4-29 (1-15) campaign in former Duke player Kenny Blakeney’s first season leading the program. The team struggled to replace all-world guard R.J. Cole, who transferred to UConn the previous offseason. But really, the basketball is only part of the story.
In some of the biggest news of the offseason, Maker will be one of the most anticipated players to take the court whenever college basketball next resumes, and represents a story bigger than the game itself.