Five-star college basketball recruit Makur Maker chooses HBCU school over UK, UCLA

A five-star college basketball recruit is heading to an HBCU.

Makur Maker announced on Twitter early Friday that he has committed to play at Howard University, choosing the historically Black college from a list of finalists that also included traditional basketball powers Kentucky, Memphis 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."

Maker, the cousin of Detroit Pistons center Thon Maker, is the highest-ranked recruit to commit to an HBCU in at least a decade. He is the No. 16 player in ESPN's rankings for the Class of 2020, and the No. 17 recruit according to 247 Sports.

Maker's guardian, Ed Smith, told ESPN in a recent interview that the community at Howard was "the main difference" between that school and others.

"Just for me on the outside looking in, he's part of the fabric," Smith told the outlet. "You're not just the athlete or the Black athlete."

Maker was born in Kenya and spent most of his childhood in Australia before moving to California in 2015. He finished his high-school playing career at Hillcrest Prep Academy in Arizona, then declared for the NBA draft — though his commitment to Howard signals he will likely now withdraw.

A player with one-and-done potential, Maker noted in his post on Twitter that he hopes to inspire other top talents to follow his lead. He specifically mentioned Mikey Williams, a 2023 five-star recruit who said he has long considered attending an HBCU like his mother, who played softball at Hampton.

"On your side my boy let’s shock the world!!!" Williams wrote on Twitter, reacting to Maker's commitment.

The arrival of Maker, who is 6 feet 11 and agile, should have a significant impact for Howard. The Bison finished 2-20 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference last season, in what was coach Kenny Blakeney's first year at the helm. 

Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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