As a 6-foot-7 walking highlight of a basketball prospect, Crestwood Prep College (Toronto) combo guard Elijah Fisher isn’t hurting for attention from colleges.
Even as a rising sophomore, Fisher is already receiving heavy interest from schools like Kansas, St. John’s, Arizona, Texas, Dayton, Florida State, Kansas State and Kentucky, and offers from USC, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Memphis and others.
Par for the course for a young prospect with “next big thing” buzz.
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It’s the college that he’s “seriously considering” that may cause a knee-jerk eye raise of a reaction.
“Morgan State offered and that’s a school I’m really excited about,” Fisher said. “With everything that is going on in the world with social injustice and police brutality against people who look like me, I think it’s important to support the schools that have people like me there. I love that Morgan State is an HBCU.”
In the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, multiple elite players have expressed a renewed interest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Typically, players in Fisher’s position opt for schools in Power 5 conferences to maximize resources and exposure, but Fisher said, “It may be time to change things.”
“I feel like someone just needs to make a big move,” Fisher said. “I have a long time until I decide on a college, but I feel like as a young black teenager there should be more honor in getting an offer from a HBCU like Morgan State. Our black schools are elite too. We have to change that way of thinking that only certain schools are big time offers. I was excited that they offered me.”
Fisher’s ties to Morgan State stem from his coach Ro Russell, whose former player Chretien Lukusa is an assistant for the Bears. Lukusa and Fisher have forged a close bond through that relationship.
“I know that they would take care of Elijah,” Russell said. “They’ve done a really good job and are a quality program. With everything going on it’s important to give our people a real chance; that type of thinking is what makes Elijah so special.”
Fisher wasn’t the only young star with HBCU on his mind, Ysidro (San Diego) guard Mikey Williams, another 2023 star with NBA buzz, caused quite a stir in the college basketball recruiting world two weeks ago when he tweeted, “Going to an HBCU wouldn’t be too bad…”
His tweet prompted a flurry of offers from HBCU like North Carolina Central, Alabama State, Delaware State, Grambling State, Howard, Morehouse and others.
While legitimate interest from elite players in HBCU is scarce, it isn’t an entirely new trend; 2020 stars Josh Christopher and Makur Maker both had serious interest in Howard.
Still, Maker is likely headed to the NBA draft and Christopher ended up at Arizona State.
Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, told Sports Illustrated that he would've "definitely" considered an HBCU, but "they never reached out."
“I don’t want it to be like my interest in Morgan State is a publicity stunt,” Fisher said. “Ever since I was younger, I’ve wanted to really look at a school with people that looked like me. It would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about my history and grow as a player and person. It’s a top notch education and a program with a lot of potential and will definitely be up there with all of the schools I seriously consider.”