Duke has long been considered a favorite to land LeBron James Jr., son of the Los Angeles Lakers superstar and live NBA legend. In the wake of today’s monumental Makur Maker news, oddsmakers believe that Bronny James can continue the trend of superstar recruits en route to HBCU schools.
Maker, the highest unmanned recruitment in 2020 that went into the day, rejected Kentucky, Memphis and UCLA. Instead, he joined Howard University, a prominent HBCU located in Washington, DC
In his announcement, Maker, the cousin of NBA forward Thon Maker, urged other star employees to follow in his footsteps. He named 2023 superstar recruiter Mikey Williams, ESPN’s No. 3 recruit in the class, in particular. A few months ago, Williams moved the idea of going to an HBCU and seems to be seriously considering.
Williams and Bronny James are close, and there is some speculation that they may look to play together at the next level. Bronny has also received the attention of some HBCU programs, which have begun to become more aggressive in recruiting top athletes. One of the most respected and successful HBCU coaches, North Carolina Central’s LeVelle Moton, took the headlines in January when he offered James. Now the school has been installed as the favorite to land him by Bovada’s oddsmaker.
Where will Bronny James play his first NCAA game for? 👑
North Carolina Central +120
North Carolina A&T +900
North Carolina +1600
💰➡️ https://t.co/rtchepBhiH pic.twitter.com/be8sqaxl6i
– Bovada (@BovadaOfficial) July 3, 2020
Moton shared some serious insight into the changing recruitment strategy after he offered James. He obviously couldn’t name anyone by name, but he said his programs and other HBCUs have to be aggressive and get top players to say “no” to them.
During the process, he took a big shot at a college hoops that recruits power in particular: Kentucky. From The Undefeated:
Moton said: “When you think about the atrocities that have happened in our society, in a society where an arena is named after someone who is a known racist, at a school where if these kids played back when he was training, he wouldn’t have allowed them into his team and those schools wouldn’t even have allowed them to attend – those kids float to that school to play in that arena today.
“But when a coach comes from a black college and offers that child the same opportunity, that coach is criticized. It doesn’t even make sense. ”
Moton, of course, referred to Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, and currently that program is part of his evidence that aiming high has always been his philosophy and that this is nothing new to him. Until spring 2009, just under a month after Moton was promoted to head coach, consensus high school All-American and future NBA total No. 1 draft pick John Wall – who Moton, a Raleigh, North Carolina, native – famously made at NC Central on his campus visit before he picked, yes, Kentucky.
“John Wall lived four doors down from me,” Moton said before presenting the brief, pointed version of his way of thinking: “I offered John Wall. He had to say no. ”
Translation: If the best players in the country do not take the HBCU leap and play for Moton, it will not be because he never asked them to.
New Howard coach Kenny Blakeney did just that when recruiting a player like Makur Maker, and now he will have a historic blue chip game at his school. If he is successful there he is almost certainly not the last, whether Bronny James, Mikey Williams or any other elite player before 2023 follows in his footsteps.[Bovada]