Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Makur Maker transfers to Hillcrest Prep, awaiting word on NBA Draft status for 2020
By KEVIN SCHNEIDERCOLUMBIA, S.C. –– The news of 7-foot Makur Maker transferring to Hillcrest Prep (AZ) shook up the high school basketball ranks as one of the nation’s top teams added one of the top players in a potential 2020 NBA Draft pick.
Coming into the Chick-Fil-A Classic, Maker “had only one practice with Hillcrest Prep and it was really like a walk through,” according to Hillcrest Prep director Nick Weaver.
In game one it was definitely a feeling out experience but his length and presence alone on the floor was key for the Hillcrest win vs. Westtown (PA). In talking with an opposing coach he faced this week at the Chick-FIl-A Classic, “we game planned all week for Hillcrest but didn’t gameplan for them with Maker. His length was a huge factor in the game. That’s a five-star addition.”
As the tournament progressed, so did the production of Maker in the Hillcrest uniform. Ranked as ESPN’s No. 10 2020 prospect, he looked much more comfortable offensively in game two getting the start and pouring in a team-high 21 points along with nine rebounds in a 61-60 comeback win vs. Huntington Prep (W.V.). He connected on four 3-point field goals, dunked in traffic on dump-offs and rebounds and manned the backline for Hillcrest along with fellow five-star 2021 Mike Foster.
Weaver mentioned that Maker fits in perfect at Hillcrest.
“With him, it’s an easy fit,” he said. “He’s so versatile and that’s what our team is based on: versatility. All of our guys can play several positions. He walks in the door and he can do that. Once he understands the rotations and what we want out of him it should blend in seamlessly.”
In the title game versus La Lumiere (IN), Makur was the best player on the floor. At 7-feet, he has rare ability at the high school ranks combining interior play with perimeter skills, which intrigues many NBA scouts. He rebounded exceptionally well leading the break on several occasions showing his overall skill set. In 29 minutes of play, Maker put up a double-double leading his team in scoring for the second straight game with 15 points (5-8 FG) to go with 10 rebounds. He was named to the Chick-Fil-A Classic All-Tournament Team.
With a loaded roster of talent, Weaver discussed how Maker blends in at Hillcrest.
“For him, it’s easy because he’s playing with guys at his level,” he said. “He wanted to play with guys that were as good as him. It’s a great fit and he loves it personally.”
His offers consist of Kentucky, Kansas, Auburn, Oregon, UCLA, Southern Cal, Washington, among others. But for Maker the goal is to test the NBA Draft route.
The petition for Makur Maker to be considered an NBA Draft prospect is in place. Now they are awaiting a decision from the NBA office on the eligibility of draft status.
With the NBA Draft in June, Maker’s present focus is on progressing his game and helping his new team win. They’re off to a great start in winning the perennial Chick-Fil-A National division championship.
Maker and Hillcrest Prep will be playing in the John Wall Holiday Invitational this week to close out 2019 year.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.