A couple of weeks ago 15-year old hoops phenom Mikey Williams made waves when he announced that he was considering historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) during his recruitment. This was in contrast to the traditional blue-blood powers like Duke and North Carolina. That announcement was followed by a wave of both praise and skepticism. This left many people waiting to see if blue-chip recruits really would choose to attend an HBCU. They didn’t have to wait long.
5-Star prospect Makur Maker, cousin of NBA player Thon Maker, has decided to take his talents to Howard. He chose the HBCU over UCLA, Kentucky, and Memphis. He is currently considered the No. 16 player in the ESPN top 100 and is the first player of his caliber to commit to an HBCU since publications actually started keeping track of such occurrences. While he wasn’t the first top tier talent to publicly consider an HBCU, thus far, he is the first to actually follow through on a verbal commitment.
Just in case anyone was wondering, he has made it clear this isn’t purely just about basketball, and he hopes other recruits will follow him.
I want to thank Coach Cal and Coach KP of University of Kentucky Coach Cronin of UCLA and coach Hardaway of Memphis for considering me. It was a tough choice.— Makur Maker (@MakurMaker) July 3, 2020
Though Makur is the first player of his talent level to choose an HBCU in recent memory, it has been a good year for HBCU recruiting. Norfolk State landed a 4-star talent in Nate Tabor. He’s not considered a top 20 player like Makur, but he also turned down traditional power-5 conference schools in favor of an HBCU.
This announcement puts even more eyes on the recruitment of Mikey Williams who is considered the best player in his class by some and an NBA lock. He and Makur are not in the same class, and Makur, by some measurements, is a “one and done” level talent meaning there is little chance of the two teaming up in college even if they both committed to the same school. Still, the possibility is there, and the announcement definitely got the attention of Mikey Williams.
The fall out of the George Floyd protests has transcended the realm of police brutality and begun to impact the sports world. But if HBCUs start picking up commitments from 5-Star recruits, it will do more than just raise awareness, it might change a system. A lot is riding on Makur’s first season as a Bison.