Howard MBB cancels season after only playing five games originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
For over a month, the Howard men's basketball program has been sidelined due to coronavirus concerns within the program. That pause will continue as the Bison have decided to end their season early to protect the health and safety of the student-athletes.
"We had several team members test positive in January, and were forced to place the program on hold, cancel several games and finally cancel our season. It was and remains the right thing for us to do," head coach Kenneth Blakeney said in a statement. "Ultimately, our number one priority is to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, both mentally and physically. Canceling the season is in the best interest of the team at this time."
As the season has gone through its first two and a half months, Howard had only played five games on the year. With a 1-4 record, the team had not played a game since Dec. 18 when it beat former MEAC rival Hampton in Burr Gymnasium. Not once did they play a conference game as the past seven MEAC games were canceled or postponed with the Bison on the COVID-19 pause.
The cancelations also included a nationally televised contest with the Bison and Notre Dame on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Entering the year, the season was filled with such promise after the team landed five-star recruit Makur Maker. A player of his caliber, with offers from UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis, choosing to play at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) was historic. Expectations for the team drastically rose as the national limelight was now shining on the program. It also revealed a sign of a new trend of highly-touted Black athletes electing to play at an HBCU.
Born in Kenya, Maker is the brother of NBA center Thon Maker. With a similar body structure, the younger Maker stands at 6-foot-11 and has a blend of size, mobility and perimeter skills for a big man.
Maker would end up playing only 48 minutes in two games this season. The 18th-ranked prospect of his class by 247 Sports also was hampered by a groin injury in the five games that the team did play. Howard will have to wait until October to see how big of a star their talented recruit can be.