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Makur Maker’s Howard commitment inspired by LaMelo Ball

Makur Maker's Howard commitment inspired by LaMelo Ball

When five-star recruit Makur Maker recently committed to Howard University — over Kentucky, UCLA and others — he hoped to inspire other high school stars to also consider playing at a historically Black college or university. Even if the 6-foot-11 Maker won’t enjoy the country’s best facilities or play in front of massive crowds, or play against the country’s best competition, he isn’t concerned it will impact his NBA Draft stock.

“I figured if LaMelo Ball could go to Australia, play in facilities like that, and still be considered a top NBA prospect, why not Howard?” Maker shared with The Undefeated.

Ball, whose older brother, Lonzo, was selected second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, could end up being the top overall pick in the upcoming draft.

Ball, a who initially intended to follow his brother’s footsteps to UCLA, was unlikely to be eligible to take the traditional NCAA route. After dropping out of Chino Hills High School before his junior season, Ball briefly played professionally in Lithuania, then joined his father Lavar’s Junior Basketball Association, before attending Spire Academy in Ohio. Ball then signed with the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks, averaging 17.0 points, 6.8 assists, and 7.4 rebounds in Australia, until suffering a season-ending foot injury.

Maker’s cousin, Thon, also had no need to play high-level college basketball, entering the NBA straight out of high school in 2016 as the 10th overall selection by the Bucks.

Maker’s decision was largely influenced by the deaths of George Floyd and countless others, which sparked nationwide protests against racial injustice.

“We gotta lead. Everybody gotta lead. Everybody gotta take a stand and do something,” Maker said on the ESPN Daily podcast. “If I’m doing this, it’s going to bring awareness to the choices that we have to make. As top recruits, we have to make choices that are responsible and to better our community and everything that is going on in this country today definitely had a big impact on it.”

Though the MEAC is consistently one of the lowest-rated leagues in the NCAA, Maker believes playing at a program which went 4-29 in Kenneth Blakeney’s first season as a head coach can prepare him to be a pro.

“People also sleep on the competitive nature of the MEAC [Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference],” Maker said. “The pace and open flow style of play of the MEAC is more similar to the NBA, in my opinion. It’s a read-and-react league, so it will definitely help me get ready for the NBA.”

About the author

Evan Lewis

Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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