Five-star recruit Makur Maker commits to Howard over UCLA
Five-star center Makur Maker was UCLA men’s basketball’s final five-star target for its 2020 recruiting class. Maker declared for the NBA Draft in April but is planning to withdraw after committing to Howard on Friday. (Courtesy of Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)
By Sam Connon
July 3, 2020 7:21 a.m.
Makur Maker will not be joining the Bruins next season.
The five-star center committed to Howard early Friday morning on Twitter, claiming he wanted to start a movement of top-tier recruits going to historically black colleges and universities. Maker chose Howard over UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis after officially announcing his top four Thursday afternoon.
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
— Makur Maker (@MakurMaker) July 3, 2020
Howard is the No. 2 HBCU according to U.S. News World & Report’s 2020 rankings, while Maker is the No. 17 prospect in the country according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Maker is the highest-rated recruit to commit to an HBCU since ESPN started its recruiting database in 2007.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in May, Maker said UCLA was his leading option if he wasn’t able to turn pro.
The 6-foot-11, 235-pound center declared for the 2020 NBA Draft directly out of Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix on April 25. However, Maker had been keeping his options open and was attempting to secure NCAA eligibility by finishing his diploma online this spring. That eligibility is still up in the air and has been complicated by the ambiguity of his extended period of homeschooling during the 2017-2018 academic year.
G League representatives had previously reached out to Maker and his high school coach to gauge his interest in joining other highly rated prospects in the developmental league this spring, but he told 247Sports in April the college game would help him learn and grow more next year.
Maker’s decision to go to Howard instead could shift the powers of college basketball recruiting.
Five-star guard Josh Christopher, who committed to Arizona State in April, took a high-profile official visit to Howard in October. Class of 2023 combo guard Mikey Williams, who was name-dropped by Maker in his commitment tweet, could also be considering Howard as a destination.
UCLA, on the other hand, will likely wrap up its 2020 recruiting circuit with one incoming freshman, four-star shooting guard Jaylen Clark. Five-star point guard Daishen Nix decommitted in favor of the G League in April, while former Kentucky guard/forward Johnny Juzang will be joining UCLA as a transfer with immediate eligibility this season.