Mikey Williams Makes Waves in His College Recruitment

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Kiersten Warren, STUDENT LIFE EDITOR

Most children in America are taught from a young age to go to college to become a successful adult. Some set their sights on Yale or Harvard, and some set their goals on a different type of university: an HBCU. HBCUs, also known as ‘Historically Black Colleges and Universities,’ were founded before African-Americans were allowed to go to school at then predominantly white schools. Historically, HBCUs are known for being smaller, and less known by the general population, especially when it comes to athletics. Now, one of the biggest prospects in basketball is considering committing to one: Mikey Williams. 

Like other kids, Mickey’s mom, Chrisse Williams, used to make her son research his top 5 colleges as a punishment. There was a caveat: at least 2 of those colleges had to be HBCUs. His mom, a Hampton University alum, which is also an HBCU, has always wanted him to experience the culture and history of these institutions. She wanted for them to at least be an option. Senior Amaya John says, “My parents have also asked me to consider going to HBCUs because of their rich history, and the bonus of becoming more comfortable with myself as a member of the black community.” Flash forward to now, Mikey’s freshman year in high school, ranking 3rd in ESPN’s national rankings for the class of 2023. Naturally, many wonder where he will take his talents at the collegiate level. Having offers from over 20 prestigious programs already, including the University of Kansas, he certainly won’t be short of options. 

Recently, Mikey came out with a list of his top 10 schools, and made a bold statement when half of the list contained HBCUs. Those 5 being: Alabama State, Hampton University –his mom’s alma mater– Texas Southern, Tennessee State, and North Carolina Central. Freshman Isabella Cely says,  “I think it’s great that Mikey is looking at different options than most of these prospective NBA recruits. He’s changing the game in recruiting.” And he certainly isn’t overlooking these schools, and by posting this list, he proves to many that he isn’t simply doing this for clout. In June, Mikey tweeted, “Going to an HBCU wouldn’t be too bad,” a game changer in itself concerning athletic recruiting at these lesser known universities. In fact, him and his mother both feel that, no matter where you go, “if you’re good, you’re good,” and going to the NBA regardless. (SLAM Online)

While some may believe that lack of exposure from these smaller programs, it remains true that NBA prospects will have a bright future in the league regardless. All of the blood, endless sweat, and tears that come from playing sports at the collegiate level is something that can never be taken away. Just as Mikey is taking control of his narrative, perhaps this will start the pattern of young student athletes controlling their destiny as well.