Markelle N'Gai Fultz (born May 29, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Washington Huskies before joining the NBA. During his single season (2016–17) with the Huskies, Fultz played point guard and shooting guard. Despite Washington's relatively disappointing year, he was named to the third-team All-American and to the first-team All-Pac-12. He was then selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. He played with the 76ers before being traded to the Magic in February 2019.
Fultz in 2018
|No. 20 – Orlando Magic|
|Position||Point guard / Shooting guard|
|Born||May 29, 1998|
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school||DeMatha Catholic|
|NBA draft||2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
High school careerEdit
Fultz was born on May 29, 1998 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the younger of two children. His father abandoned the family, so he relied heavily on his mother, Ebony. Impassioned by basketball, Fultz was mentored in his early years by a local instructor named Keith Williams. In 2012, he began attending DeMatha Catholic High, an all-boys prep school as well as basketball powerhouse. He had shown promise on the DeMatha Stags' freshman team; but as a sophomore, the 5-foot-9-inch (1.75 m) guard was cut from the varsity roster. He was overlooked due to his awkward gait, having the appearance of "Bambi"; as assistant coach Cory McCrae explained, "He was long and lanky, and he’d walk and his knees would be hurting". However, Fultz outplayed the competition at the junior varsity level, making it apparent that he did not belong there.
Assistant coach Raphael Chillious of the Washington Huskies was the first to notice Fultz's potential, describing him as an athlete with the makings of an NBA All-Star-caliber player if he continued to grow. At the start of his junior season, Fultz stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m). As a starter for DeMatha's varsity team, he averaged 16.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game and was named the Player of the Year in the highly-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Among the highlights of his junior campaign were the game-winning foul shots he made in a 16-point performance while being guarded by Jayson Tatum of Chaminade and the triple-double he posted in a matchup against Roselle Catholic at the Hoophall Classic. His recruiting stature abruptly soared during this season, with Rivals.com ranking him number 24 in the Class of 2016 and over 20 college programs offering him scholarships.
On August 21, 2015, Fultz committed to the University of Washington. He concluded his high school career as he recorded the Stags' single-season record for assists with 278 and led the team to their second consecutive conference championship. At the McDonald's All-American Game on March 31, 2016, Fultz tallied 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. At the Jordan Brand Classic come April, Fultz accumulated 19 points in a 131–117 East team victory. During the summer, he was selected to Team USA's FIBA Americas Under-18 roster. With Fultz as its leading scorer, the team progressed to the gold medal championship game; and in dominant fashion, Fultz posted 23 points and earned the tournament's MVP award for his performance.
By the end of his senior year, Fultz was rated as a five-star recruit and ranked the seventh-best overall recruit and third-best guard in the 2016 high school class. At DeMatha, Fultz was a basketball teammate and friend of Chase Young, who was later selected by the Washington Football Team, then known as the Redskins, second overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Upper Marlboro, Maryland||DeMatha Catholic High School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||Aug 21, 2015|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN: ESPN grade: 96|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 3 Rivals: 5 ESPN: 7|
The Washington Huskies were fully expecting to open the 2016–17 season with Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss; instead, however, both freshmen were selected in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft. Fultz said of the anticipated scenario if they had stayed: "I think we would be No. 1 in the country. We would have gone to the (NCAA) tournament and won". Without any proven talent and only one returning starter, Fultz took charge as a team leader and primary scorer. As the starting point guard, he debuted in a 98–90 home game loss to the Yale Bulldogs in which he posted 30 points.
Although the Huskies finished with a disappointing 9-22 record, Fultz enjoyed one of the best freshman seasons in all Pac-12 Conference history. In 25 games that season, his 23.2 point average was the highest mark in the Pac-12 in 20 years and second in Huskies history behind Bob Houbregs' 25.6 points per game in 1952–1953. Fultz also led the team in minutes played with 35.7 per game as well as assists with 5.7 per game and was second in rebounds with 5.9 per game. By the time Pac-12 honors were awarded, Fultz—the lone Husky selected—was named to the First-team All-Pac-12 and Third-team All-American. A player who "jumps off the page athletically and possesses creative scoring instincts and playmaking skills", the consensus among sports analysts was that Fultz would be the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
Philadelphia 76ers (2017–2019)Edit
Rookie season (2017–18)Edit
Fultz was selected as the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, who then finalized his four-year rookie contract on July 8. The 76ers, after years of mediocrity, had lofty expectations of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2012; such were the high hopes that rested on their new core consisting of Fultz, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons. In his first regular season game, on October 18, the rookie posted 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist in 18 minutes of play coming off the bench. It was not long, however, before a shoulder injury—termed a "scapular muscle imbalance"—so ravaged his shooting that he shot only 33 percent from the field and attempted zero three-pointers in four games. In response, the 76ers decided to sit Fultz indefinitely until he recovered. Debate ensued between sports analysts and the organization over how much his shooting woes were of physical versus psychological origin. Fultz himself later clarified: "What happened [...] was an injury. Let me get that straight. It was an injury that happened that didn’t allow me to go through the certain paths that I needed to, to shoot the ball."
During his hiatus, Fultz's basic shooting mechanics appeared to change under a trainer from outside the 76ers organization; this and his lengthy recovery period taken were heavily scrutinized. The team's president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo, suggested that the rookie might very well sit for the remainder of the season; but on March 26, 2018, it was announced that Fultz would return to the hardwood for an upcoming game against the Denver Nuggets. Despite some missteps, such as one air ball shot and some shots blocked, Fultz put up 10 points and 8 assists in 14 minutes of playing time. On April 11, at 19 years-old, Fultz became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double, breaking the mark set by fellow rookie Lonzo Ball earlier that season.
For the 2018–19 season, head coach Brett Brown named Fultz the starting shooting guard over veteran JJ Redick. Fifteen games into the season, however, Fultz lost the position to Jimmy Butler, whom the 76ers acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Conflicting statements regarding Fultz's health and poor production continued to be sources of conflict and drama for the team. On November 20, 2018, his agent Raymond Brothers announced Fultz would not participate in practice or games until a shoulder injury was evaluated; his ailment was later described as thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), the neurogenic type of the disorder which “affects nerves between the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal functional movement and range of motion, thus severely limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball”.
Orlando Magic (2019–present)Edit
On February 7, 2019, Fultz was traded to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Jonathon Simmons, an Oklahoma City Thunder first round pick, and a Cleveland Cavaliers 2nd round pick. Magic coach Steve Clifford later stated in March that he did not anticipate Fultz returning to play during the season, stressing that his shoulder injury was indeed "very serious." Fultz made his debut for the Magic in the season opener October 23, 2019.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- *Babb, Kent (June 22, 2017). "Markelle Fultz Never Forgets". Washington Post. Retrieved November 28, 2017.* Sharp, Andrew (April 18, 2017). "Meeting Markelle Fultz: A Day With The NBA's (Likely) No. 1 Pick". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- Himmelsbach, Adam (June 16, 2017). "The Transformation of Markelle Fultz". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- Greenberg, Steve (December 20, 2016). "Long Overlooked, Washington Star Markelle Fultz Has Everyone's Attention Now". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- "Markelle Fultz". NBA.com. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- Pompey, Keith (June 22, 2017). "Markelle Fultz proved his mettle at famed DeMatha High School". Philly.com. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- Johnson, Chris (August 21, 2015). "chooses Washington in recruiting coup for Lorenzo Romar". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- Parker, Brandon (March 31, 2016). "Markelle Fultz, VJ King and Kaila Charles shine in McDonald's All-American Game". Washington Post. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- Halley, Joe (April 15, 2016). "East takes a bruising victory in Jordan Brand Classic boys game". USA Today. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "Washington signee Markelle Fultz leads U18 team to gold at FIBA Americas Championship". USA Today. July 24, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "Markelle Fultz – Basketball Recruiting – Player Profiles". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Keim, John. "Chase Young and Markelle Fultz: High school pals linked by lofty goal". ESPN. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- Allen, Percy (March 7, 2017). "Markelle Fultz lived up to the hype for UW. So why did Huskies fail to deliver?". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- Dauster, Rob (November 13, 2016). "Markelle Fultz shines but Washington loses opener to Yale". NBC. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "Markelle Fultz". Go Huskies.com. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- Chavez, Chris (June 22, 2017). "Who is Markelle Fultz? Scouting report, bio, analysis of top NBA draft prospect". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "Celtics, 76ers finalize blockbuster deal to swap top picks". ESPN. June 19, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Nathan, Alec (June 8, 2017). "Markelle Fultz agrees to rookie contract with Philadelphia 76ers". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- Nelson, Owen (October 20, 2017). "Markelle Fultz showed positive signs in NBA debut". The Sixers Sense.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Winfield, Kristian (October 25, 2017). "What the heck is going on with Markelle Fultz's shoulder?". SBNation.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Barnewall, Chris (October 29, 2017). "Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz shut down with shoulder injury; reevaluated in three weeks". CBS. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Wojnarowski, Adrian (December 4, 2018). "76ers' Markelle Fultz has thoracic outlet syndrome, to miss 3-6 weeks". ESPN. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- Howard, Chelsea (September 22, 2018). "76ers' Markelle Fultz says hitch in shot was due to injury, not the 'yips'". Sporting News. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- Wiggins, Brandon (February 15, 2018). "More details on the bizarre case of Markelle Fultz's lost shooting form have emerged". Business Insider. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Singer, Michael (March 26, 2018). "76ers say No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz is available vs. Denver". USA Today. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Gelston, Dan (March 27, 2018). "What Markelle Fultz and the 76ers had to say about his return to the court". Boston.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- "76ers win 16th straight, earn 3 seed in romp over Bucks". ESPN.com. April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- "Reports: Sixers' Fultz to see shoulder specialists this week". NBA.com. November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- Pompey, Keith (November 26, 2018). "The Markelle Fultz saga shows no signs of abating". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- Bogage, Jacob (December 4, 2018). "Markelle Fultz has nerve disorder that hampers shooting motion, agent says". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- "Magic Acquire Markelle Fultz in Trade From 76ers". NBA.com. February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- @SiriusXMNBA (March 4, 2019). "@OrlandoMagic HC Steve Clifford joined @JaredSGreenberg & @bwood_33 and gave an update on Markelle Fultz" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Markelle Fultz shows a lot of promise in Magic debut, looks comfortable, explosive as a scorer and creator". cbs sports. October 23, 2019.
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