No historically Black college or university has ever landed a five-star recruit — until now.
Howard University will enjoy the services of 6-foot-11, 235-pound center Makur Maker, who is also the cousin of former NBA player Thon Maker.
The 22-year-old was one of the most highly touted recruits in the nation, drawing strong interest from Power Five conferences. Schools interested in him included Kansas, Kentucky, Auburn, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Memphis and Washington. However, Maker decided that Howard was the best fit for him.
“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 #MakerMob,” Maker tweeted after he made his decision to play for the Bison.
Maker announced on July 2 via Twitter that he narrowed down his list to four schools that he still considered playing for, including Howard, UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. The following day, he made his decision.
The Bison will desperately need Makur as the Bison went 4-29 under head coach Kenneth Blakeney, who is entering his second year with the team.
Maker is still a raw talent, but his athleticism is extraordinary for someone his size and was noticeable even early on in his high school career. During his freshman season at Chaminade High School in West Hills, California, he averaged nearly 10 points, 8.2 rebounds and a whopping 2.5 blocks per game.
He ranked 16 in the ESPN Top 100 Recruiting Database, and on April 25, Maker declared for the 2020 NBA Draft. He did play in the prep circuit, where he reportedly impressed scouts there and during his time at Hillcrest Prep High School most recently.
Maker visited Howard’s campus in October, but the Kenyan-born prodigy did allude that he was considering playing overseas in Australia for the National Basketball League.
However, in November, he was only two credits away from graduating with his original high school class (2019). The NBA stepped in and deemed him eligible for the draft, but Maker decided to give it a college try at HU.
Maker will have an opportunity to show off his skills next year against perennial powerhouse Notre Dame on MLK Day at Burr Gymnasium. It will be the first time that Notre Dame will travel to play against an HBCU on the road in school history.
The big man will play with Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Rookie of the Year Wayne Bristol Jr. Maker will join a 2020 recruiting class that includes another low-post threat and top prospect, Amir Rahimzad from Edge School in Canada.
During his senior year, the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Rahimzad was ranked the seventh-best student-athlete in Canada, averaging 15 PPG and 10 RPG. Rahimzad also has experience competing internationally during the U19 FIBA World Cup Championship, though he is coming off an ACL injury.