Five-star recruit Makur Maker commits to Howard over powerhouses UCLA, Kentucky

Cassandra Negley
·3 min read
 Dream Vision forward Makur Maker looks on during the adidas Gauntlet Finale on July 19, 2018 at the Ladera Sports Center in Ladera Ranch, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Makur Maker announced he will attend Howard. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Five-star recruit Makur Maker committed to Howard University on Friday, choosing a historically Black college/university over UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. He’s the highest ranked college basketball prospect to choose an HBCU in the era of online recruiting databases (circa 2007).

The senior, whose cousin is Detroit Pistons forward Thon Maker, made the announcement in the early Friday hours on Twitter.

“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.”

Maker is a versatile, 6-foot-11 prospect considered in the top 20 of the country. He was born in Kenya, his family is from Sudan and lived in Australia until moving to California in 2015. He finished his high school career at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.

Mikey Williams, who Maker referenced in his decision, is the top-ranked 15-year-old boys basketball player in the nation. He said earlier this month, as protests grew across the country following the death of George Floyd, that attending an HBCU “wouldn’t be too bad.”

Maker ready to ‘change the narrative’

Maker and five-star recruit Joshua Christopher both made visits to Howard, a rare instance of star talents visiting HBCUs.

Top schools with bigger budgets typically get the top recruits in a class, but Maker told The Undefeated in October 2019 he was considering “changing the narrative.”

“I think we’re starting a different culture with top recruits coming in to visit here and taking this seriously,” Maker told The Undefeated before scrimmaging with the Howard basketball team. “A lot of HBCUs are being overlooked.”

“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.”

Christopher ended up choosing Arizona State, but said he was serious about considering Howard.

Maker potential for 2020 NBA draft, G League

Maker put his name in for the 2020 NBA draft after the league determined he was eligible since he was two credits shy of graduating with his original 2019 class in Irvine, California. The highest projections have him in the second round of the draft, rescheduled for October due to COVID-19.

He can also consider playing the G League, which has made moves to entice top prospects away from the NCAA. Another cousin, Matur Maker, is with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League.

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