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Five-star basketball prospect Makur Maker commits to Howard over UCLA

Hillcrest Prep's Makur Maker is seen against Sunrise Christian Academy during a game at the Hoophall Classic on Jan. 19.
Hillcrest Prep’s Makur Maker is seen against Sunrise Christian Academy during a game at the Hoophall Classic on Jan. 19, in Springfield, Mass.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

Makur Maker, a five-star basketball prospect who played his junior season at Orange Lutheran, committed to Howard University on Friday, picking the historically Black college over UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis.

Maker, a 6-foot-11, 235-pound center, wrote on Twitter: “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.”

Maker is ranked as the 17th-best prospect in the 2020 class by 247Sports. Williams, from San Diego, is considered a top recruit for the 2023 class.

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The 19-year-old Maker, who was born in Kenya and spent most of his childhood in Australia, played his freshman year at West Hills Chaminade High. After playing at a prep academy in Canada, he returned to Southern California and played at Orange Lutheran.

While attending Pacific Academy in Irvine, Maker traveled with Phoenix-based Hillcrest Prep last season, helping the team win consecutive tournaments. A high ankle sprain sidelined him for more than a month.

Under Armour has informed UCLA that it wants to terminate the $280-million deal the apparel maker signed with the school in 2016.

Maker, who lives in Yorba Linda, planned on showcasing his talents for the NBA during the draft combine and in workouts for individual teams. But those events were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When discussing his college options in May, Maker had high praise for the Bruins.

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“UCLA’s leading right now ,” Maker told The Times. “UCLA would be a great fit for me. It’s in my backyard. It’s right near my house, only about an hour’s drive. And staying home and staying in the West, and UCLA has produced a lot of pros — Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, everybody’s been through there — so it’s a great environment.”

For now, Maker has chosen to play for Howard, a private university in Washington D.C. The Bison play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Eligible prospects have until Aug. 17 to decide whether to stay in the NBA draft, which will be held in October.


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