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The Needle Is Moving for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

By Keisha J Kelley

In the early hours of Friday morning, Makur Maker was making a major decision that many doubted would happen. Less than 24 hours before he announced his decision, Maker tweeted "I'll be deciding my college destination next week." He added "my final 4 colleges are Howard, UCLA, Kentucky, and Memphis." Makur Maker becomes the highest ranked prospect to commit to an HBCU since 2007, when ESPN recruiting database began. The five-star senior, chose the Bison over Memphis, Kentucky, and UCLA. "I was the 1st to announce my visit to Howard and other started to dream "what if" Maker tweeted. "I need to make the HBCU movement so that others will follow. I hope I inspire guys like Mikey Willams to join me on this journey. I am committing to Howard U and coach Kenny Blakeney." Maker towering at 6-foot-11, is ranked No. 16 in the ESPN 100 for 2020. The front court player also entered his name into the NBA Draft, but could be expected to withdraw if he is not expected to be a first round pick. Kyle O'Quinn of Norfolk State (2012), was the last HBCU product to selected in the NBA Draft. What we have started to witness now is that many historically black colleges and universities have become aggressive in going after top tiered athletes and bringing them into the culture and tradition of HBCUs Class of 2021 and 2022 are definitely examples of the aggressiveness and will show up as game changers; just wait on it! With Maker committing to Howard, this doubled up the chances of other four and five star athletes starting to consider HBCUs. For Bison Men's basketball coach, Kenny Blakeney, who just took over the program last season, this is the time to shine. " If we mess it up, we may not have another opportunity to be able to do it", says Blakeney. Maker averaged 14.7 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 73% on 2-pointers last spring and summer with Dream Vision on the Adidas grassroots circuit according to ESPN staff writer Jeff Borzello. Whether you agree with it or not, top athletes are starting to not only consider but commit to HBCUs. Mikey Williams also tweeted "On your side boy, lets shock the world!!!." and "We will make a change!!! Thank you bro!!." Will Mikey Williams be next? Only time will tell, but what we do know right now is that the tide is starting to shift and we love to see it!

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