Kenyan born 5-star college basketball recruit Makur Maker made headlines when he decided to turn down offers from some top-name basketball colleges like UCLA for Howard University. Of course, Howard an HBCU, is a Historically Black higher learning institution.
When Makur made his decision, it seemed that he knew there would likely be a lot of questions. This is why he answered them pretty much within one tweet. He wrote 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."
Clearly, the move surprised many. However, Makur Maker and his decision will be discussed for quite some time. If he can get Mikey Williams to follow him there, Howard University could make some real noise in the college basketball world.
MAKUR MAKER'S GAME-CHANGING DECISION
Great players like to play with other great players. It is possible other students transfer to Howard just to play with Makur Maker, especially if he attends and stays beyond one year. Either way, the fact that Makur decided to turn down so many schools in favor of Howard speaks volumes. It sheds light on the schools but more importantly, it shows that you can still go to an HBCU over those from a Power 5 Conference and still make an impact.
Many ballers overlook HBCUs, not due to the educational aspect but because they feel they'll receive a greater amount of exposure elsewhere. It is quite true that bigger name schools are going to get television deals more often. It is also true that HBCUs are not known or celebrated for their major sports teams as much as they used to be. Yet that could change quite fast with someone like Makur Maker in the picture. TV Networks will want to cover him.
On top of this, unlike college football, there is a major NCAA Tournament in college basketball. It includes several teams outside the Power 5. That includes mid-majors, which is where the MEAC conference and Howard University would land. Therefore, Maker and company are bound to gain exposure in a major way. This means that Maker nor any other college recruit has to assume they only have one avenue in college basketball in order to be noticed.
There are several, and HBCUs are a great place to end up. With a rich history of culture, influence, swag and a long list of notable alumni, these universities are just as good if not better than any other you'll come across. Plus, it's also well-known that the school bands at HBCUs are some of the best in the country. Meaning, you will enjoy these schools just as much if not more than you will at a Power 5 Conference University.
But is the mainstream ready for HU???? Buckle up; the Howard U experience is unparalleled.
MAKUR MAKER'S AGE, HEIGHT, & HILLCREST
Makur Maker is a big man, currently standing at 6 foot-11 inches and weighing in at 235lbs. He's proven to be solid off the bounce for his size and he's a threat inside. Of course, his height is often disputed among scouts. Some size him at 7 foot, while others say 6'11. Either way, he's just 19 years old and will likely grow a few more inches before he jumps to the NBA.
Known for his impressive defense and being an offensively skilled "7 footer " with guard skills. As just a freshman in high school, he averaged around 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. However, Makur has moved around a lot in his quest to be at the best schools to help him develop. Makur has been on several basketball teams over the years.
However, there are rules into how much one can play. Maker exhausted his 8 semesters of eligibility, which hurt his standing to play under California rules. This is when he transferred to Pacific Academy, another prep school. They have an affiliate program called the Center of International Basketball Academy, where Maker could continue his basketball career.
From here, he transferred to Hillcrest Prep Academy in Phoenix, Arizona to finish up his high school basketball career. However, due to all the moving around and lack of play, Maker does not have any major statistics to go off of lately. There are around 5 games we could find, where he improved all across the board from his freshman season. As a Senior, he even averaged 20 points per game!
IS MAKUR MAKER THON MAKER’S BROTHER?
Due to having the same last name and being a basketball player, it is natural to assume that Makur Maker is related to NBA Power Forward/Center Thon Maker. They actually are related, but the two are not brothers. Rather, they are cousins. Thon's brother Matur played basketball at the international level and most recently played at the G- League level too. They are both, of course, older than Makur. The Maker family has connections to many sports too, with some playing soccer and Aussie Rules Football.
Both Thon & Matur had the same guardian throughout their upbringing in basketball, Ed Smith. Now, Smith is the acting guardian for Makur Maker, which came at the request of his cousins. He has likely been the one to take him from school to school and even prep him for possible movement to college or the NBA.
MAKUR MAKER'S COMMITMENT TO HOWARD UNIVERSITY
As we mentioned at the top of the article, Makur Maker decided to commit to Howard University. This was a pretty huge mark in the history of HBCUs too. Maker is officially the highest-rated recruit to ever sign with an HBCU in the modern-recruiting era, which is huge for not only Howard University but HBCUs overall.
Maker turned down some impressive schools like UCLA, Kentucky, and Memphis. All are well-known basketball powerhouses who could put anyone on a major stage in the basketball sector. Yet Maker's move was done because he knew his value and knew he could possibly change the game, quite literally, with this move.
Think about the impact alone. He had tons of offers to a lot of great schools but chose to use his value to help HBCUs stand out more. If nothing else, we just found out what kind of person Makur Maker is. Beyond this, it's a splash on the game no one saw coming and that helps to keep things fresh in the basketball world.
On top of all of this, Howard University is an elite school with several amazing programs. Earning a degree from this University is considered to be extremely impressive. The University is known for its law and business programs. In fact, they place Top 25 in the nation for placing law graduates in successful law firms.
In addition to academic excellence, Howard university possesses a rich history of culture, influence, sophistication and African American star power. Some notable alumni and former students include: Thurgood Marshall, Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen, Elijah Cummings, Sen. Kamala Harris, Toni Morrison, Ossie Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Sean Combs, Taraji P. Henson, Anthony Anderson, Lance Gross, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Laz Alonso, Simone Missick, Marlon Wayans, Gus Johnson (Sportscaster) , La La Anthony, Lyn Whitfield, Donny Hathaway, A.J. Calloway, Shauntay Hinton (Miss USA, 2002), Kenny Lattimore, Isaiah Washington, Stokely Carmichael, Roberta Flack, and most recent NIck Cannon.
WILL WE SEE A RISING TREND OF HBCU PLAYERS DRAFTED BY NBA TEAMS?
Maker has made the HBCU movement official. It looks promising but only time will tell if other top recruits follow his lead. The NBA follows the talent. So top college basketball recruits hold the power to change the game.
Will we see a trend of more HBCU prospects drafted by NBA teams? That question can only be answered by 5-star college basketball recruits. H..U..You Know!
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