Thon Maker is another Aussie predicted to enter the NBA aside from Ben Simmons. Simmons is also from Australia taking the spotlight as this year’s draft players.
Amid the age issues, the Mirrabooka schoolboy is still hoping that he will get in the league to complete his dream. He is the tenth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft for the Milwaukee Bucks.
For Thon Maker, joining the world’s famous league is already a dream come true. However, to achieve his ambition, he had to make certain sacrifices. He knew all that.
As a basketball player, he knew that he will have countless hours in the gym, early morning, and late nights.
Albeit hardships, his hardworking mother always gave him the courage and determination to dominate the league. He wrote in his draft card about his best moment. He stated that the process of getting in the NBA is the best moment of his career.
Unlike Ben Simmons, he was not a scholar of an Australian Institute of Sport back in 2011 but he still managed to learn the fundamentals of the game.
According to Yahoo News, Thon Maker has enjoyed playing basketball when he was a kid. Initially, he played soccer before he fell in love with basketball. He tried playing the game just five years after migrating from South Sudan.
Literally after his first touch of the ball, he fell in love with the sport that later drove him to his future NBA league career after five years of moving to Australia from South Sudan.
At that time, Ed Smith who is an American basketball scout convinced the young Maker to practice this skills seriously. He became his legal guardian and career mentor afterwards. From there, his professional basketball career started.
In 2012, he won a silver medal at the FIBA Under-17 World Championship. Later, he became a YouTube sensation. Because of these endeavors, he could be great in the NBA.
However, Washington Post noted that because of his age, he might not be able to make it. Based from the NBA draft rules, the player should be 19 years old and one year removed from high school.
After the decision, Maker immediately petitioned and explained he already finished high school in 2015. Later, he chose to have his post-graduate year in 2016 to remain eligible for the draft.
“Opportunity has led me around the world, from South Sudan to Australia, where basketball stole me from my first love,” Thon Maker said.
This 19-year-old NBA draft stands 7-foot-1 center drafted for the Milwaukee Bucks. He is the second draft player who has jumped straight from high school to the NBA.
Photo courtesy: Instagram.com/@thonmaker