In these tough times for Black lives, we as a people are demanding and wanting action in different ways to bring more justice, attention, money, and talent to the Black community. We have seen indictments handed out, statues taken down, money donated, and other grand acts from people, companies and governments. However, one thing we do want to see is Black athletes committing to attend HBCUs.
For decades, we have seen the supreme Black athletes commit to attend white institutions over HBCUs. With the recent and heavy focus on Black Lives Matter, many have taken to Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms calling for athletes to take their talents to HBCUs. In the very beginning, C.J. Bolar, a wide receiver at Vanderbilt, a power 5 conference decided to leave the school and attend Alcorn State, an HBCU. While he wasn't a "star" this begin the larger "what-if" conversation.
Shortly following Bolar's decision came Nate Tabor; a 4-star recruit in basketball with power 5 conference offers decided to forego those offers and attend thee Norfolk State University. At one point, he was ranked as a top 100 player in the 2020 recruiting class. Initially, he committed to play college basketball at St. John's. He was offered by UConn, LSU, Auburn, and Texas, but opted for NSU.
However, the news of the day comes with Makur Maker, a 5-star recruit deciding to attend Howard University to continue his academic and athletic career. With this move, he becomes the highest ranked prospect to commit to an HBCU since these data began collected in 2007. Maker had his final list narrowed down to UCLA, Kentucky, and Memphis.
Maker, the number 16 player in the nation said, "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. I hope I inspire guys like Mikey Williams to join me on this journey. I am committing to Howard U & coach Kenny Blakeney." Maker is the cousin of the Detroit Pistons' Thon Maker, so basketball pedigree runs in the family. Mikey Williams saw the news and said on Twitter, "On your side my boy let's shock the world!!!"
Williams is a top ranked basketball player in the country, only entering his sophomore year. He has been very vocal about attending an HBCU and changing where top athletes decide to go. He said, "Going to a HBCU wouldn't be too bad..." Williams mother attended Hampton University, so going to an HBCU would not be too far-fetched. With Maker doing it, it is only a matter of time before others follow suit.
HBCUs, let's get this right so we can get all of our talent back to our schools.