Howard University basketball’s first big story in 2020 was hosting Notre Dame on MLK Day 2021. That will not happen as planned.
Monday’s (Jan. 18) contest between the Howard University men’s basketball team and Notre Dame Fighting Irish has been postponed due to concerns relating to COVID-19 in the Howard men’s basketball program, the school’s announced on Saturday. Notre Dame’s website says the game will be re-scheduled for 2022.
“We are all incredibly disappointed by this cancellation,” said Howard Director of Athletics Kery Davis. “This was a tremendous opportunity to bring national exposure to our basketball team and the University. However, it goes without saying that the health and welfare of our student-athletes is our priority first and foremost.”
The game was to be a showcase for Howard, hosting a Power Five school. That’s something that is rare for most mid-majors, especially at HBCUs. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey and Howard coach Kenneth Blakeney organized the game, which was set to be broadcast on Fox Sports.
“We hope that by next season, we will have a packed Burr Gymnasium, be able to invite special guests connected with both teams in the D.C. area and have the experience we envisioned when we scheduled this game in the summer of 2020,” Brey and the AD said in a release.
Announced in June, the game took on more significance a month later when five-star recruit Makur Maker signed to Howard. Maker has played in just two games for Howard this year as he’s been sidelined with a groin injury. The highly-regarded recruit revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.
Maker had said he’d hoped to be back by the Notre Dame game.