Memphis Tiger basketball recruit commits to Howard University

WATCH: Memphis Tiger basketball recruit commits to Howard University

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis Tiger basketball recruit has committed to play at Howard University.

Makur Maker, a five-star center from Phoenix, Arizona, announced his decision to play at HBCU early this morning, according to his Twitter handle.

The 7-foot phenom is ranked 17 in the class of 2020.

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City Council Member Martavius Jones told FOX13 Maker’s decision fits in perfect with today’s social climate and it’s something that transcends sports. He says it’s a part of a movement for social justice.

“What’s taking place is, people are saying Black Lives Matter. I’ve always known that, but we’re trying to get mainstream society to know that as well as appreciate that,” Jones said.

Councilman Jones has ties to both Memphis and Howard University. He grew up in Memphis, graduated from Central High School and later attended Howard University.

“I didn’t have to worry about somebody hanging a noose in my dorm room when I went to Howard or some of the other experiences that peers of mine had. This was 30 years ago, but you still hear stories about this,” Jones told FOX13.

Jones believes this decision by Maker will put HBCU in the spotlight.

“He will put HBCU’s on the map. I think that the fact that they’ll be paying these athletes going forward, this will level the playing field of athletics. People will know you can go to a smaller institution perhaps, an HBCU,” Jones said.

Memphis was on his top four list of schools to attend--- which also included blue blood programs UCLA and Kentucky, but Friday morning Maker announced his move to Howard University. Stating in a tweet, “I need to make the HBCU movement real so others will follow.”