“I need to make the HBCU movement real”: 5-star recruit Makur Maker picks Howard over Kentucky and UCLA

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Hillcrest Prep’s Makur Maker #20 is seen against Sunrise Christian Academy during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Sunday, January 19, 2020, in Springfield, MA. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) — The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is in the national spotlight after 5-star center Makur Maker announced Friday morning that he picked historically Black Howard University over several major Division 1 basketball programs.

Maker, the brother of Detroit Pistons big man Thon Maker, picked the Bison over top programs such as Kentucky, Oregon and UCLA.

“I was the 1st to announce my visit to Howard & other started to dream “what if,” Maker wrote on Twitter. “I need to make the HBCU movement real so that others will follow.”

The 7 footer is the 18th best player in the country for the class of 2020 and 4th best center, per Rivals. He’s also the highest ranked prospect to commit to an HBCU since ESPN started ranking prospects back in 2007.

Maker’s commitment could be the watershed moment for major prospects choosing to attend historically Black college and universities, as the nation grapples with racial injustice. In June, Mikey Williams, the No. 1 prospect for the class of 2023, said he’s considering attending an HBCU. Maker mentioned in his announcement he’s hoping to inspire other players such as Williams to follow his lead.

Maker is the highest ranked commit for the MEAC, but he’s not the only one in the class of 2020 with multiple stars. Last month, Norfolk State University picked up Nate Tabor, a four-star recruit (ESPN) who picked the Spartans after originally committing to St. John’s.

The 6-foot-5 wing had offers from several major “Power 5” programs, including UConn, Auburn, Texas Tech and LSU.

The addition of Maker is also a major boost for Howard in the short-term, after the Bison finished 4-29 last season. Norfolk State went 12-4 in conference (16-15 overall) last year and will be among the favorites to win the conference whenever play resumes.

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