What Does MakurMaker’s HBCU Choice Mean for College Basketball?

In the past, we’ve seen five-star new hires flock to blue blood programs like Duke and Kentucky. In recent years, some of these prospects have been looking for a professional route to go abroad until they’re NBA age-qualified, while spending the money they’re offering to teams of their choice. There are also people.

These elite level players have even more options — and there may be new ones now.

McCoolmaker, a cousin of NBA forward Thon Maker, wants to show that attending the Historically Black Colleges (HBCU) is a viable route. In July, the 6’11, £ 235 forward made a national headline by committing to Howard at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference over UCLA, Memphis and, of course, Kentucky.

“I dare to do something different, and I always think I’m the leader,” the maker said after his announcement. “I want to change the current culture and climate that keeps 5-star athletes like me not seeing HBCU as a viable option.”

This decision sheds a bright light on Howard and the 20-year-old maker and raises the profile of both players and programs. Bison won just four games a year ago, but outside expectations are now beyond the roof. There is no player like Maker in MEAC — someone who can handle the ball, block shots, and shoot from the surroundings with his size and strength. He was ranked 18th in the class by and was voted by the conference coach for the first team of the MEAC pre-season all-league. He is a legitimate NBA prospect.

“There’s nothing in court that he can’t do. He has all the skill sets that high-level players 6-5, 6-6 have,” said Assistant at Colombia, Harvard, Seton Hall, and Delaware. Kenny Blakeney, who will enter his second season at Howard after serving, said. A career as a player at Duke. “He passed the ball better than I expected. He shot the ball better than I expected.”

“I think he will dominate the league,” added national recruitment analyst Rob Cassidy. “They intend to play him in five positions. Sometimes he is a point guard. He can handle the ball pretty well because of his huge size. He is a freak athlete. He If he doesn’t control, there will be something wrong with dropping him into that league. “

His guardian, Ed Smith, wasn’t surprised that a manufacturer born in Kenya, raised in Australia, and coming to the United States for high school went this route. In high school, Maker chose to join Orange Lutheran in California instead of the established and powerful Mater Dei Prep. He wanted to be essential in building something, rather than attending a party that was already in progress. That was part of the reason he chose to go to Howard — in addition to the opportunities he saw for himself at school.

During the era of social unrest and the Black Lives Matter movement, the maker was attracted to the idea of ​​playing at a black college and coaches like Blakeney who started hiring him when he was an assistant in Colombia. .. He liked the idea of ​​attending the same school that produced Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the late actor Chadwick Boseman, and the recently deceased civil rights activist and politician Elijah Cummings. Blakeney and his staff emphasized the value of the makers playing in Washington’s big market and took advantage of his versatility to allow him and his family to look free over his entire skill set. Offering more packages to and doing a full coat press over 100 pages explaining Howard’s value and their plans for him.

“Overall, it was the ability to change the story. You can come to HBCU, be successful, and win the lottery,” Smith says. “”[They told us],’Introducing McCool as a big modern day. Play him in the post. Play him with his elbows. Play him in a transition. “

“They said,’It’s a chance to make history.'”

Blakeney has already seen improvements in recruitment results since the manufacturer’s commitment. He landed in Purdue transfer Nogel Eastern in August and recently received a commitment from the top 100 forward Kluel Mading. Meanwhile, the top 150 forward Duncan Powell has committed to fellow MEAC School North Carolina A & T.

New 4-star and 5-star employees contacted Blakeney to be hired by Howard. According to his coach, Maker has made it cool to be adopted by HBCU. Mikey Williams, a 2023 premier class guard, listed five HBCUs in the top ten and wasn’t shy about the possibility of joining one.

“Many new employees want to see what happens,” Cassidy said. “There are a lot of kids who want to do that, but it’s a kind of gambling. Top-level kids have never done it.”

Even if Maker succeeds, leads Howard to the NCAA tournament, and is named in the Top 5 of the NBA Draft, Cassidy doesn’t think this will be a common occurrence. Top-notch new hires don’t suddenly flock to HBCU. However, it can lead to improved recruitment for those schools.

“You can see the trickle-down effect,” Cassidy said.

Maker may be a pioneer, a person who creates new avenues for elite prospects like yourself. But that’s only if he succeeds. He is expected to rule. From the beginning he will be very focused. How he behaves determines whether his decision to go to Howard is unusual or starts a trend. According to Blakeney, his social media profile has received over a billion impressions since the manufacturer’s commitment.

“Clearly, there will be a lot of people paying attention to this year’s activities,” said Howard’s coach. “But we accept it.”

What Does MakurMaker’s HBCU Choice Mean for College Basketball?

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