Howard Basketball Gym
Photo: Howard University Athletics

Howard men’s basketball announced Tuesday that it is canceling the rest of its season because of coronavirus issues within the program.

The Bison began the season on a high after it signed highly-touted high school prospect Makur Maker.

But since then, Maker was shut down because of injury, and the team has only played five games all year due to pandemic-related setbacks.

Howard’s last official game was Dec. 18 versus Hampton.

Also read: COVID-19 pandemic has HBCU programs trying to control outbreaks, play games

“We had several team members test positive in January, and were forced to place the program on hold, cancel several games and finally cancel our season. It was and remains the right thing for us to do,” Howard coach Kenneth Blakeney said in the statement. “Ultimately, our number one priority is to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, both mentally and physically. Canceling the season is in the best interest of the team at this time.”

The team’s COVID-19 issues reportedly snowballed when “a significant number” of Howard players tested positive after Christmas break, according to the Washington Post.

The Bison stopped all basketball activities on Jan. 8 before returning on Jan. 21.

Howard is the third MEAC men’s team to cancel its season joining Bethune-Cookman and Maryland Eastern Shore. Florida A&M women’s basketball called off its season due to coronavirus concerns in November.

“Fortunately, this gives our student-athletes the opportunity to finish their academic year strong while demonstrating their resiliency upon their return. We are Bison strong; we will get through this together,” said Blakeney.


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