Markelle 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. Termed the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Fultz—at point guard and shooting guard—played one season for an underperforming Washington team in 2016. Fultz was selected to the third-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 during that period. He entered the draft the following year, and was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Fultz in 2018
|No. 20 – Orlando Magic|
|Position||Shooting guard / Point guard|
|Born||May 29, 1998|
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 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 career
Fultz was born in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, a community about 23 miles (37 km) from Annapolis, the youngest of two children; his father abandoned the family and he relied heavily on his mother, Ebony. Excitable and impassioned by basketball, in his early years Fultz was mentored by local instructor Keith Williams. In 2012, he began attending DeMatha Catholic High School, an athletically renowned, all-boys college-preparatory private school, but as a freshman he was ineligible from trying out for the varsity team, the Stags. As a 5-foot-9-inch (1.75 m) sophomore, Fultz was overlooked for his unusual gait—having the appearance of "Bambi", assistant coach Cory McCrae said, "He was long and lanky, and he’d walk and his knees would be hurting"; subsequently, Fultz was cut and returned to junior varsity, where he outplayed the competition.
Assistant coach Raphael Chillious of the Washington Huskies was the first to notice Fultz and described him as an athlete with the potential to be an NBA All-Star-caliber player if he continued to grow; at the start of his junior season, he measured 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m). While a starter for DeMatha's varsity team, Fultz averaged 16.8 points (PPG), 7.9 rebounds (RPG), and 4.3 assists (APG) and was named Player of the Year in the highly-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Among his junior year highlights were his game-winning foul shots in a 16-point performance against Chaminade—all while guarded by Jayson Tatum—and a triple-double in a matchup with Roselle Catholic at the Hoophall Classic. His recruiting stature soared: Rivals.com ranked Fultz as No. 24 in the Class of 2016 and over 20 college programs offered him scholarships.
Prior to his senior season, Fultz made a verbal commitment to Washington Huskies basketball on August 21, 2015. He concluded his high school career with breakout numbers—recording the Stags' single-season record for assists (278) and leading the team to their second consecutive conference championship. On March 31, 2016, Fultz posted 10 points, six rebounds, and four assists at the McDonald's All-American Game. At the Jordan Brand Classic in April, he 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 the leading scorer, the team progressed to the gold medal championship game—and in dominating fashion, Fultz scored 23 points, which earned him the tournament's MVP award.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Upper Marlboro, MD||DeMatha Catholic High School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||Aug 21, 2015|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN: ESPN grade: 96|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 3 Rivals: 5 ESPN: 7|
The Huskies anticipated opening the 2016-2017 season with Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss; Fultz predicted in such a scenario: "I think we would be No. 1 in the country. We would have gone to the (NCAA) tournament and won the tournament". Instead, both freshmen were selected in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft. Without any proven talent and only one returning starter, Fultz took charge as a leader and scorer. Starting at point guard, he debuted in a home game against Yale, posting 30 points in a 98-90 loss.
Though the remainder of the Huskies' year was disappointing—finishing with a 9-22 record—Fultz had one of the best freshman seasons in Pac-12 Conference history. In 25 games, his 23.2 points per game 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. He also led the team in minutes played (35.7), assists per game (5.7), and was second in rebounds per game (5.9). 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)
Fultz was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers, as the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft; they finalized his four-year rookie contract on July 8. The 76ers, after years of obscurity, had lofty expectations entering the season: with a core consisting of Fultz, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons, they had potential for a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. In his first regular season game, on October 18, Fultz posted 10 points, three rebounds, and an assist in 18 minutes of play coming off the bench. However, a shoulder injury—termed a "scapular muscle imbalance"—hindered Fultz's shooting early in the season to such a degree that he posted only a 33% field goal percentage (FG%) and did not attempt a single three-pointer in four games; the 76ers decided to sit him indefinitely until he recovered. Debate ensued between sports analysts and the organization regarding how much of his shooting woes were physical versus mental. 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 absence, Fultz's shooting mechanics, altered by a trainer outside the 76ers organization months before the season, and lengthy recovery time were heavily scrutinized. The team's president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo, suggested that the rookie might not play again during the season, but on March 26, 2018, it was announced that Fultz would return for a game against the Denver Nuggets. Despite some missteps, including an air-ball and shots blocked, Fultz posted 10 points and eight assists in 14 minutes of playing time. On April 11, at 19 years-old, he became the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double, breaking the mark previously 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)
On February 7, 2019, Fultz was traded to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Jonathon Simmons and two draft picks. Magic coach Steve Clifford later stated in March that he did not anticipate Fultz returning to play the remainder season, stating his shoulder injury was "very serious."
|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|
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- 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.
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- "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.
- 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.
- Whitaker, Lang (June 22, 2016). "Markelle Fultz goes No. 1 to Sixers while Lonzo Ball realizes dream of playing for hometown Lakers". NBA.com. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- 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.