Howard University, considered the “Mecca” of black education, is now being considered as a launching pad for some of the nation’s most elite NBA prospects.
As the most prestigious Historically Black College (HBCU) in the United States for its exemplary educational platforms, Howard is gaining national attention through its athletic department as of late.
Makur Maker, a top five recruit in the 2020 high school basketball class and a projected 2021 NBA lottery pick just listed Howard University as a potential college destination. There have been reports of other highly acclaimed recruits looking to take official visits during Howard’s famed Homecoming Weekend extravaganza this October.
1988 was the last time a high profile prospect included Howard in their final choices when McDonald’s All-American Jerrod Mustaf listed Howard in his final 3 college choices. He eventually decided to attend his hometown University of Maryland, but it was newsworthy for an HBCU to be considered.
The sports landscape has dramatically changed in the past thirty years. High school players are beginning to leverage their projected draft positions and attend colleges where they have established relationships… if they attend college at all. Think of number one draft choice Ben Simmons attending LSU for a year prior to the draft based on his family’s relationship with the coach.
The last two NBA drafts have featured first round picks from obscure basketball schools such as Wichita State, Belmont and Murray State, with the latter producing the second overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. If that calibre of schools can negotiate a way to high level basketball talent, then why can’t the HBCU’s be a viable option as well?
Earlier this month sports analyst Chris Broussard along with current NBA player Andre Iguodala campaigned for the best black student athletes to attend an HBCU.
Coincidentally, Howard has strategically moved to the forefront of this movement to get quality athletes on it’s campus. NBA superstar Stephen Curry, announced last week that he was funding a new golf program at Howard University… the next Tiger Woods may be a Bison.
But the loudest statement that Howard University made recently to illustrate its commitment to becoming a “Mecca” in athletics, was the clever hiring of Coach Kenny Blakeney to lead the Men’s Basketball program. Blakeney, who played for the greatest high school coach of all-time, Morgan Wootten, and won NCAA championships with the winningest college coach of all-time Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, provides the pedigree and credibility that Howard is serious about athletics.
Blakeney is expected to capitalize on his Duke connections and extensive network to catapult Howard as a prime destination for four and five star recruits in the coming years and for the Bison to be a staple during March Madness!
This seismic shift that is taking place across the sports landscape of the HBCU community is gaining momentum every week.
Don’t be surprised to see a few high school All-Americans Hooping at the “Mecca”!