Makur Maker, one of the top high school prospects in the nation, may be the next player to bypass college on his road to the NBA, writes Evan Daniels of 247sports. The 6’11” center, who attends Pacific Academy in Irvine, California, has already received interest from the G League, the NBL and other professional leagues, according to his guardian, Ed Smith.
“It’s definitely appealing playing against grown men, although you’re playing against grown men in college too,” Maker said. “Competition is going to be there no matter what.” The thing about college is you play on national TV every night so you’re getting that exposure from the country and basically the world. That’s very appealing to me.”
Maker is considered a top-five college prospect. He is the cousin of Pistons center/power forward Thon Maker, who was drafted without ever playing college basketball.
More players are seeking alternatives to the NCAA as they plot out their futures. Top 2020 prospects R.J. Hampton and LaMelo Ball both opted for the NBL. K.J. Martin Jr. is training privately instead of going to college, while potential 2021 draftee MarJon Beauchamp plans to train with Chameleon BX, a private company based in San Francisco.
Maker has plenty of suitors if he opts for college basketball. He named Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington State as heavy recruiters, and he may visit Howard this fall.
“The thing about college is it keeps you relevant, and from my perspective it helped Zion (Williamson) a lot,” Smith said. “He did get better, but it also helped his career standpoint. You have to keep an eye on that.”