Thon Maker Entering NBA Draft; First Player in Decade to Join From High School
Thon Maker is anything but ordinary. From Thon Maker entering NBA Draft to the type of player he is, Maker is nowhere near a normal prospect.
Maker was born in Sudan and grew up in Australia after his family moved when he was young. Maker’s first love when it came to sports was actually soccer, dreaming of becoming a star player on the pitch. When he was 13, after reaching a height of 6’8″, his focus shifted to the game of basketball.
After just a year of playing, he was an international star, a viral sensation, and one of the most talked about 8th grade prospects ever.
The Video That Started it All
Five years ago, before anyone knew of the Sudanese- Australian prospect, Maker was in the 8th grade working on becoming a more all around player. His shot started to take form and his potential was unlimited. Things were quiet as the now seven foot tall player turned 14.
The video went viral. Granted it was just 2011, so the term viral back then was much different then the meaning now. With just over 2 million views to date, Maker was an internet sensation.
As seen in the video, Maker was a physical marvel. Lengthy, quick, and the ability to run the floor is what stands out in the video. The most unlikely skill that was shown in the video was a surprise to most who were watching, Maker had the ability to shoot. Multiple clips showed the big man shooting 18 foot jumpers with a smooth form that looked like it could translate to any level.
From the video, Maker made a name for himself. After Maker became a viral sensation, there was a new mixtape from the phenom about twice a year. We could see what Maker was becoming, not just a big guy who was taller than every one getting easy dunks, but a scoring machine with his expanded game.
The comparison that was most used to describe Maker was starting to take shape, that person being Kevin Durant.
We had never seen a player like Kevin Durant until he stepped on to the court for the Texas Longhorns during the 2006-2007 season. He was a freak, plain and simple. A skinny man who should be playing a frontcourt position, could be a primary ball handler and act as a shooting guard.
Durant, from very early on, showed his potential to take over the NBA with his ability to shoot and run the floor. When Durant was a freshman, no one had an NBA player to compare him to. The closest one was Rashard Lewis.
Maker is showing the same skill set and size the a young Kevin Durant showed the world almost ten years ago. The thing about this comparison, though, is that it is not fair. It is impossible to say that Maker will be the next KD. Maker can shoot, is long, and athletic like Durant, but who knows if he can materialize into the player that Durant has become.
But, when you see him against five-star recruit Dennis Smith, imaginations about the player Maker will be can run wild.
Maker breaks down the defense, calls for an isolation play, and picks apart his defender. After his opponent is leaning, he calmly hits a step back jumper. We will ignore the fact that he carried the ball when dribbling, but if you watch that clip and ask what NBA player he resembles there, the first person that crosses your mind will be the Thunder superstar.
Maker has the base skill set and similar physical attributes as a young Kevin Durant, but people need to temper the expectations being set for the 19 year old.
Draft Status for 2016
As everyone has probably heard, Thon Maker entering NBA Draft. He is the first player coming out of high school to jump to the NBA in a decade. It is tricky, but Maker is going to be exploiting a loophole in the rule.
The rule is that the player must be 19 years of age and that one NBA season has passed since the player graduate high school.
Maker graduated from his prep school in Canada early last spring, but he continued to attend the school. He had the oppurtinty to reclassifiy and attend a major college program this past season, but opted to stay at the prep school.
(Thon Maker Entering NBA Draft)