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Patrick Ewing and Mark Turgeon release statements following George Floyd's death

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Patrick Ewing and Mark Turgeon release statements following George Floyd's death

Georgetown's men's basketball coach Patrick Ewing and Maryland's men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon released statements following the death of George Floyd on Monday. 

Floyd, a black man, died after Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes. His death has sparked civil unrest across the country.


We have a responsibility and a platform to speak out against racism and injustice.

We will not be silent. We will not ignore senseless violence and brutality. We will be a part of the solution.

We stand with those mourning the death of George Floyd and countless others who have senselessly lost their lives in tragic acts of racial injustice. It's time for our voices to be heard.


As I have discussed the horrific death of George Floyd the last few days privately with both my team and family, I have come to understand that as a leader of black young men it is imperative to extend the reach of my voice.

In the words of human rights activist Desmond Tutu, 'If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.'

Discussing the matter with my team and family is not enough. It can't be enough.

The recent senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others has sickened me to my core. I want to express my condolences to all affected.

We are all in this together and we must work to rid our country of injustices and racism. It will take real work. It starts with never forgetting these moments. It also means committing ourselves to further education in racism and social injustice.

Over the coming days and weeks our team will read 'Why We Can't Wait' by Martin Luther King Jr. and discuss each chapter to better understand systematic racism and what we can do to fix it. We will hold each other accountable in developing meaningful next steps.

This is an unbelievably challenging time in our country in so many ways. We should support all communities that have been impacted by these tragedies, including those impacted by social injustices and also the men and women of law enforcement who do serve their communities with honor and respect. We must stand together and unite now more than ever.

The two coaches are a part of many members of the sports community that have made statement's on Floyd's death and the ensuing protests. A group including LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Bradley Beal and Richard Sherman have spoken out on social media.

Chauvin and the three other officers involved in the incident were fired. Chauvin was later arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Howard makes a massive jump in preseason KenPom rankings after Makur Maker commitment

Howard makes a massive jump in preseason KenPom rankings after Makur Maker commitment

The Howard men's basketball program was forever changed once 2020 five-star recruit Makur Maker announced his decision to play with the Bison next season

While this is a monumental step for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as a whole, this is also a really big deal for the current Howard program. 

Last season, Howard was 4-29 (1-15 MEAC). Only three of those wins were against Division I opponents. Literally they were one of the worst teams in college basketball.

But with Maker that will change things. Not only will they vault to title favorites in the MEAC, but their national profile and coverage will greatly improve. Already Ken Pomeroy, who is the developer behind one of the most trusted metrics in the sport (KenPom), has the Bison taking a huge step by simply adding the five-star center. 

RELATED: ARE TOP PROSPECTS GOING TO HBCUs A NEW TREND?

That meant Howard was going to be second-to-last in Division I for Pomeroy's preseason rankings this year. Going to 252nd gives them a 27% jump by the addition of a single player. 

That will be the largest jump by a player - ever, according to Pomeroy. 

Makur is a 6-foot-11 player that is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. His cousin, Thon Maker, plays for the Pistons in the NBA.

All signs point to Howard being the class of the MEAC next season, but overall the quality of the league as a whole will improve with Maker. 

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2020 five-star recruit Makur Maker commits to Howard

2020 five-star recruit Makur Maker commits to Howard

When five-star big man Makur Maker announced his final four schools Thursday and Howard University was on the list, it certainly raised some eyebrows. Now, it appears Howard has landed one of the biggest recruits in its history. 

Maker tweeted early Friday morning that he had committed to Howard and head coach Kenny Blakeney over UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis.

"I was the first to announce my visit to Howard & others started to dream “what if,'" Maker wrote. "I need to make the HBCU movement real so that others will follow. I hope I inspire guys like Mikey Williams to join me on this journey. I am committing to Howard U & coach Kenny Blakeney."

Top high school recruits such as Maker and 2023 five-star Mikey Williams are the first to show real interest in playing their college ball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Maker is the first of his caliber to make a commitment amid a worldwide movement against the systematic oppression of Black people. 

RELATED: RANKING THE CBB COACHES IN DC, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA

Maker, the brother of Pistons big man Thon Maker, is the 18th-ranked 2020 recruit in the nation according to 247sports. The 6'11, 235-pound big man is known for his blend of size, mobility and perimeter skills at the center position.

Maker was born in Kenya and immigrated to Australia when he was one year old. He then played high school basketball at multiple schools in California before playing his final season at Hillcrest Prep Academy in Phoenix, AZ. 

Maker will join a program in need of a boost in talent. Howard went 4-29 last season and will surely improve with their newest addition. But perhaps Maker's decision will have a bigger impact on college basketball moving forward. As top recruits begin to consider avenues outside the traditional powerhouse programs, the game's landscape could look a lot different in a few years.

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