The Makur Maker era at Howard University has hit a quick pause.
The five-star freshman is being shut down indefinitely with a nagging groin injury. The news was first reported by the Washington Post.
Maker scored 11 points in his debut against Belmont on Thursday. He followed that up with a 12 point performance against Queens College on Friday. Howard lost both contests.
Howard head coach Kenneth Blakeney told the media after Thursday that Maker had been battling a groin injury for some time.
“He’s been banged up for a minute, and he’s been trying to fight his way through,” Blakeney said. “A couple of times I pulled him out of the game. He wants to be there for our team and his teammates. I’m trying to trust him as much…but sometimes you have to help people who may can’t help themselves.”
It’s a big setback for a Howard teammate that was already playing without several key pieces. Jordan Wood, a freshman from Texas, has been battling injuries as well. Purdue transfer Nojel Eastern has not received a waiver from the NCAA to play at this time.
Now Howard will have to play without its main attraction for the foreseeable future. Obviously it’s not what you want if you are Howard, but it is likely the best move for a future NBA player like Makur Maker.
The book on Makur Maker still open
Obviously, the eyes of the basketball world have been on Howard because of Maker. People want to see if an HBCU can handle a top 20 talent, and help it flourish.
So far, the standings show a blowout loss to Belmont and a solid loss to a Division II team. But Blakeney told anyone who would listen all summer that Howard was a program that had only won four games last year.
“This was his (Maker’s) first-ever college game,” Blakeney said on Thursday. “I don’t even know when his last high school game was, because he didn’t complete last year’s season. We’re a very young thing, I do think we have a chance to continue to get better throughout the year.”
Hopefully, we will get a larger sample size of Maker in a Howard uniform. If that happens, Blakeney feels good about the possibilities.
“We’re gonna compete, we’re gonna do a good job of getting better daily, but I’d like to see this team in February and March.”