5-Star C Prospect Makur Maker Commits to Howard over UCLA, Kentucky, More

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Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Makur Maker announced Friday he’s committed to play college basketball at Howard in an effort to spark a movement of more top recruits choosing historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Maker, a 5-star prospect and the No. 17 overall player in the 2020 class in 247Sports’ composite rankings, selected the Bison amid offers from Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA and USC.

Mikey Williams, a promising combo guard in the 2023 class, hinted Thursday he’s also leaning toward selecting an HBCU:

Maker’s choice of Howard and Williams’ comments come as 10-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul prepares to shine a spotlight on HBCU basketball programs with a docuseries filmed during the 2020-21 season.

Dade Hayes of Deadline reported the series, produced by Paul’s Ohh Dip!!! Productions in coordination with Roadside Entertainment, will take an “intimate look at the challenges HBCU schools face in competing with bigger programs to attract top basketball recruits.”

Paul told Hayes he’s “started to pay more attention” to the situation as he’s gotten older after growing up near Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.

“There was an HBCU right in my backyard. For some reason, I just didn’t really think of it,” the Wake Forest product said. “Today, kids’ mindsets have changed. We hope that this show will keep that conversation going.”

In April, Maker declared for the 2020 NBA draft but confirmed he was keeping his options open since the coronavirus pandemic had altered the predraft process.

“I was planning on getting some workouts with some teams; I still do not know how that is going to go,” Maker told 247Sports’ Evan Daniels. “But with corona, everything has changed everyone’s plans.”

He added: “The NBA G League reached out and approached my coach, but if it’s not the NBA then I’m going to go to college because I’m young and still want to learn more.”

Maker is a modern post player with a versatile offensive game that stretches to the three-point line. He’s also flashed a major impact at the defensive end thanks to his 6’11” frame and athleticism, though he’ll have to bulk up from his current 235 pounds as he moves through college and eventually the NBA.

The Hillcrest Prep product joins a Howard program that struggled during the 2019-20 campaign. The Bison posted a 4-29 record, including a 1-15 mark in MEAC play, and finished 350th out of 353 Division I programs in the KenPom rankings.

Landing a commitment from Maker is a major step as Kenny Blakeney, a former Duke player who took over the Bison in 2019, tries to turn things around at the Washington, D.C., school.