Thon Maker

Thon Marial Maker (born 25 February 1997) is a South Sudanese Australian[2] professional basketball player.[3] He attended high school at Orangeville District Secondary School and played basketball for Canada's Athlete Institute. Coming out of high school, Maker was considered a five-star recruit by most basketball recruiting services.[4][5][6]

Thon Maker
Thon Maker - Pistons vs. Pacers Oct 23 2019 (cropped).jpg
Maker with the Detroit Pistons in 2019
Free Agent
PositionCenter / Power forward
Personal information
Born (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 26)
Wau, Sudan (now South Sudan)
NationalitySouth Sudanese / Australian[1]
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school
NBA draft2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10th overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career2016–present
Career history
20162019Milwaukee Bucks
20192020Detroit Pistons
2020–2021Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
  • Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year (2014)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Early lifeEdit

Maker was born in Wau,[7] a city located in what is now South Sudan. His uncle, a local administrator, arranged for Maker, his younger brother, Matur, and his aunt to escape the civil war to Uganda. From there, they were accepted as refugees by Australia; they then moved to Perth, Western Australia when Maker was five years of age[8] and the family eventually settled down.[9]

When he was 14, Maker was discovered playing soccer in the Perth suburb of Mirrabooka, by Edward Smith, an Australian of African-American heritage who helps children from migrant backgrounds receive opportunities they otherwise wouldn't get.[10] Smith had previously helped fellow Sudanese immigrants Ater Majok and Mathiang Muo, now both professional basketball players. Smith offered his aunt to feed, clothe and educate Maker in Sydney where Maker played basketball for the St. George Basketball Association during 2011. Just before the team's playoffs, Maker and Smith left to attend a talent camp in Texas.[9]

High school careerEdit

 
Maker in 2016

Once in the United States, Maker attended two schools in Louisiana, including Metairie Park Country Day School,[11] before finally settling down at Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia.[9] During his freshman and sophomore years playing for Carlisle's varsity team, Maker averaged 22.2 points, 13.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 4.5 blocks over a total of 53 games.[12] As a sophomore, he earned 2013–14 Gatorade Virginia Boys Basketball Player of the Year honours after leading Carlisle to a state championship.[13][14]

On 5 September 2014, Maker and his brother enrolled at the Athlete Institute in Mono, Ontario where Edward Smith was already an assistant coach. In conjunction with the Athlete Institute, the brothers enrolled at Orangeville District Secondary School in the nearby town of Orangeville.[15] On 29 December 2014, Maker scored 16 points and 9 rebounds in a 79–75 win over Dennis Smith Jr. and Trinity Christian School.[16] On 30 December 2014, Maker scored 24 points and 11 rebounds as his team loss to Harry Giles and Wesleyan Christian Academy in the championship game of the High School OT Holiday Invitational tournament.[17]

On 18 February 2015, Maker announced his decision to reclassify into the 2015 class, which would have made 2014–15 his final year of high school.[18][19] He later participated in the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon.[20][21] Playing alongside fellow Australian Ben Simmons in the April 11 game, Maker recorded 10 rebounds, two points and one block as the World Team defeated Team USA, 103–101.[22]

On 18 June 2015, Maker announced his decision to remain in the Class of 2016, and returned to Orangeville Prep for the 2015–16 season. Maker noted how stressful it was working toward entering the Class of 2015, with the issue centred on his workload and the pressure with "trying to get it all done at once".[23] He was being recruited by Arizona State, Florida State, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Notre Dame, St. John's, and UNLV.[24] On 21 June 2015, Maker was named MVP at the National Basketball Player's Association Top 100 camp.[25]

On 3 April 2016, Maker declared his intentions to enter the 2016 NBA draft, a decision that required a ruling from the NBA to determine his eligibility.[26] To skip a year of college, Maker had to convince the NBA he graduated from Orangeville Prep in 2015. He successfully did so, proving he graduated from high school in June 2015[13] but stayed another year as a post-graduate student by his own choosing, fulfilling both the minimum age and one year removed requirements to the NBA's satisfaction. With a successful ruling, Maker became just the second player in more than a decade to make the leap from high school in North America straight to the draft[27] and the first to play in the NBA since the league introduced the "one-and-done" rule for high school students in 2005.[28][29]

Professional careerEdit

NBA DraftEdit

Maker attended the 2016 NBA Draft Combine, where he was measured as the third-tallest player without shoes at 6 ft 11.75 in (2.13 m)[30] and recorded the highest no-step vertical jump (32") of any player over 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) in NBA Draft Combine history.[31][32] In the days leading up to the draft, a number of teams ruled themselves out of selecting Maker in the first round over concerns that his age had been misrepresented, as some believed Maker to be between 21–23 years of age despite being officially listed as a 19-year-old.[33] Despite those concerns, he was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks,[34][35] becoming the first high school player taken in the first round since the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement went into effect.[13]

Milwaukee Bucks (2016–2019)Edit

During the 2016 NBA Summer League, Maker averaged 14.2 points and 9.6 rebounds[36] in five games for the Bucks and subsequently earned All-NBA Summer League Second Team honours.[37] On 30 July 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Bucks.[38] Maker made his NBA debut on 30 October 2016, entering the game with 95 seconds remaining in the final term of the Bucks' 98–83 loss to the Detroit Pistons;[39] he recorded one rebound.[40] On 21 January 2017, he made his first start for the Bucks and subsequently had six points in 18 minutes in a 109–97 loss to the Miami Heat.[41] On 1 February 2017, he scored a season-high 12 points in a 104–88 loss to the Utah Jazz.[42] On 10 February 2017, in the Bucks' first game since Jabari Parker was ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury, Maker started in Parker's place and recorded seven points and six rebounds in 17 minutes in a 122–114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.[43] The following day, he had a second 12-point effort in a 116–100 win over the Indiana Pacers.[42] On 31 March 2017, he scored a career-high 23 points in a 108–105 overtime win over the Detroit Pistons.[44]

On 22 November 2017, Maker scored a season-high 16 points against the Phoenix Suns.[45] On 1 January 2018, he tied his season high with 16 points against the Toronto Raptors.[45] In Game 3 of the Bucks' first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Maker scored 14 points and blocked five shots, as the Bucks cut the series deficit to 2–1 with a 116–92 win.[46][47] He again blocked five shots in Game 4, helping the Bucks even the series at 2–2 with a 104–102 win.[48] The Bucks went on to lose the series in seven games.[49]

On 7 January 2019, Maker had a season-high 15 points off the bench in a 114–102 win over the Jazz.[50] By late January, having had a reduced role in 2018–19 under new coach Mike Budenholzer, Maker reportedly requested a trade from the Bucks.[51]

Detroit Pistons (2019–2020)Edit

On 7 February 2019, Maker was acquired by the Detroit Pistons in a three-team trade involving the Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans.[52][53] On 22 February, he sank a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 16.7 seconds remaining to lift the Pistons to a 125–122 win over the Atlanta Hawks.[54] It was announced on 19 November 2020 that Pistons general manager Troy Weaver opted to not extend Maker a qualifying offer, allowing him to become a free agent.[55]

Cleveland Cavaliers (2020–2021)Edit

On 30 November 2020, Maker signed a training camp contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.[56] On 14 January 2021, Maker was waived.[57] In eight games for the team, he scored 30 points and collected 18 rebounds.

National team careerEdit

In April 2015, Maker declared his intentions to play for the Australian national team despite heavy interest from Basketball Canada—the organization had considered Maker and his younger brother Matur as potential Canadian players.[58] On 29 June 2018, he made his international debut for Australia in a FIBA World Cup qualifier against Japan.[59] Maker was involved in the Philippines–Australia basketball brawl during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualification. As a result, he was suspended for three games.[60]

Career statisticsEdit

Legend
  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

NBAEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2016–17 Milwaukee 57 34 9.9 .459 .378 .653 2.0 .4 .2 .5 4.0
2017–18 Milwaukee 74 12 16.7 .411 .298 .699 3.0 .6 .5 .7 4.8
2018–19 Milwaukee 35 0 11.7 .440 .333 .541 2.7 .5 .3 .5 4.7
2018–19 Detroit 29 5 19.4 .373 .307 .766 3.7 .9 .4 1.1 5.5
2019–20 Detroit 60 14 12.9 .482 .344 .664 2.8 .7 .4 .7 4.7
2020–21 Cleveland 8 0 9.5 .556 .000 .909 2.3 .5 .3 .5 3.8
Career 263 65 13.8 .435 .327 .680 2.8 .6 .4 .7 4.6

PlayoffsEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017 Milwaukee 6 6 19.3 .387 .200 .818 3.2 2.0 .8 1.8 5.8
2018 Milwaukee 6 2 21.7 .393 .300 .714 3.8 .8 .3 1.8 5.5
2019 Detroit 4 2 17.3 .269 .000 .889 2.3 1.0 0.0 1.0 5.5
Career 16 10 19.7 .353 .190 .815 3.2 1.3 .4 1.6 5.6

Personal lifeEdit

Maker is an Australian and South Sudanese citizen.[61]

Maker's parents, who descend from the Dinka people, still live in South Sudan[9] and are also both extremely tall; his father stands 2.032 m (6 ft 8 in) and his mother stands 1.905 m (6 ft 3 in).[62] His brother, Matur, attempted to enter the 2018 NBA draft in a manner similar to Thon before deciding to play internationally instead.[63] Another brother, Maker Maker, plays soccer for South Melbourne FC's under-20 team.[64] He has another cousin, Makur, who currently plays basketball for Howard University.[65] Another cousin, Aliir Aliir, plays in the Australian Football League for Port Adelaide.[66] In March 2018, Maker confirmed he supports the Swans due to his family connection, despite previously supporting the two West Australian teams.[67]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cohen, Ben (29 January 2017). "Trump refugee ban: Sudanese-born NBA stars could be affected by US travel restrictions". TheAustralian.com.au. Retrieved 4 July 2017. Maker and Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng were born in what is now South Sudan. They both hold dual nationalities — Maker is Australian and Deng is British
  2. ^ Cox, Kearyn (25 June 2016). "NBA Draft: Thon Maker's journey from South Sudan to Milwaukee Bucks shaped in Perth". ABC.net.au. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  3. ^ https://www.cleveland.com/cavs/2020/12/thon-maker-fighting-for-nba-career-could-have-path-to-roster-spot-with-cleveland-cavaliers.html
  4. ^ "Thon Maker". Rivals.com. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Thon Maker". 247Sports.com. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  6. ^ Bedore, Gary (23 February 2015). "Jaylen Brown will take his time; Thon Maker details visit to KU". KUSports.com. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  7. ^ "This Australian Passport Might Put The Great Thon Maker Age Conspiracy To Rest Once And For All". Yahoo.com. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Former Mirrabooka schoolboy Thon Maker makes his NBA debut". TheWest.com.au. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d Sygall, David (11 August 2013). "Refugees escaping war are aiming for the stars". SMH.com.au. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  10. ^ Croy, Liam (24 June 2016). "Mirrabooka schoolboy Thon Maker to play in the NBA". TheWest.com.au. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  11. ^ Roser, Jerit (26 April 2016). "Former Country Day standout Thon Maker joins Ben Simmons in ESPN's latest NBA mock draft". NOLA.com. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Thon Maker's Basketball Stats". MaxPreps.com. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  13. ^ a b c Rohrbach, Ben (23 June 2016). "Thon Maker becomes first prep-to-pro first-round pick since 2005". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Virginia Boys Basketball POY: Thon Maker". USA Today High School Sports. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  15. ^ Biancardi, Paul (5 September 2014). "Thon Maker heading to Canada". ESPN.com. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Maker, Orangeville win battle of superstars over Smith, Trinity". High School OT. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  17. ^ Strelow, Brett (30 December 2014). "ACC Basketball: Harry Giles, Wesleyan Christian top Thon Maker, Orangeville Prep in title game". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  18. ^ Borzello, Jeff (18 February 2015). "Thon Maker plans to reclassify". ESPN.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  19. ^ Vecenie, Sam (18 February 2015). "Top recruit Thon Maker set to graduate, reclassify into Class of 2015". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  20. ^ Vecenie, Sam (11 March 2015). "World Team roster announced for 2015 Nike Hoop Summit". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  21. ^ Uluc, Olgun (12 March 2015). "Simmons, Maker and Wynyard named to 2015 Nike Hoop Summit World Team". PickAndRoll.com.au. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  22. ^ Vecenie, Sam (11 April 2015). "World Team beats USA in Nike Hoop Summit behind Murray's 30". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  23. ^ Dauster, Rob (18 June 2015). "Thon Maker to remain in the Class of 2016". NBCSports.com. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Thon Maker – Basketball Recruiting – Player Profiles". ESPN.com. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Video: Watch why Thon Maker was MVP at NBPA Top 100 camp; plus all-star team". USA Today High School Sports. 21 June 2015. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  26. ^ Wells, Adam (3 April 2016). "Thon Maker Will Declare for 2016 NBA Draft: Latest Comments and Reaction". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  27. ^ Blakely, A. Sherrod (2 May 2016). "GAUGING THE STOCK OF THON MAKER, THE NBA DRAFT'S MYSTERY MAN". CSNNE.com.au. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  28. ^ Eisenberg, Jeff (14 April 2016). "Thon Maker being ruled draft-eligible highlights potential loophole". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  29. ^ "Thon Maker ruled eligible for NBA Draft, US media give early verdict on Australian phenom's prospects". FoxSports.com.au. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  30. ^ "Unofficially, the top three 2016 combine heights..." Twitter. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  31. ^ "Thon Maker has HIGHEST No-Step Vert(32") &..." Twitter. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  32. ^ Uluc, Olgun (14 May 2016). "Thon Maker NBA Draft Combine analysis – How the Australian fared at the pre-draft showcase". FoxSports.com.au. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  33. ^ Scarito, Eddie (23 June 2016). "Draft Rumors – Morning: Maker, Young, Hawes". HoopsRumors.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  34. ^ "Bucks draft Sudan native Thon Maker, 19, with 10th pick". ESPN.com. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  35. ^ "BUCKS SELECT MAKER WITH 10TH PICK IN 2016 NBA DRAFT". NBA.com. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  36. ^ "Ben Simmons, Thon Maker named two of NBA Summer League's best players". ABC.net.au. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  37. ^ "Wolves' Tyus Jones named 2016 Summer League MVP". NBA.com. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  38. ^ "BUCKS SIGN THON MAKER AND MALCOLM BROGDON". NBA.com. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  39. ^ "NBA Wrap: Maker debuts, Mills fires". News.com.au. 1 November 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  40. ^ "Bucks vs. Pistons – Box Score". ESPN.com. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  41. ^ "Dion Waiters scores 33 to help Heat beat Bucks 109-97". ESPN.com. 21 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  42. ^ a b "Thon Maker 2016-17 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  43. ^ "Lakers survive late Bucks rally to win 122-114". ESPN.com. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  44. ^ "Maker sets career high, leads Bucks to overtime victory". FoxSports.com. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  45. ^ a b "Thon Maker 2017-18 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  46. ^ "Defense found: Bucks overwhelm Celtics for 116-92 win". ESPN.com. 20 April 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  47. ^ Gay, Carlan (20 April 2018). "Watch: Bucks' Thon Maker belts career-high 5 blocks as Milwaukee takes Game 3 over Celtics". SportingNews.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  48. ^ "Tied up: Giannis' tip-in lifts Bucks over Celtics in Game 4". ESPN.com. 22 April 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  49. ^ "Celtics beat Bucks 112-96 in Game 7, advance to play 76ers". ESPN.com. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  50. ^ "Antetokounmpo scores 30 points as Bucks down Jazz 114-102". ESPN.com. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  51. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (26 January 2019). "Sources: Thon Maker wants trade from Bucks with eye on more playing time". ESPN.com. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  52. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks Acquire Nikola Mirotic In Three-Team Deal". NBA.com. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  53. ^ "Detroit Pistons Acquire Thon Maker as Part of Three-Team Deal". NBA.com. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  54. ^ "Pistons survive Blake Griffin's ejection, top Hawks 125-122". ESPN.com. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  55. ^ "Here are 26 moves (trades, draft picks, free agents) Detroit Pistons have made so far this week". ClickOnDetroit.com. 20 November 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  56. ^ "Cavaliers Add Three to 2020 Training Camp Roster". NBA.com. 30 November 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  57. ^ https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/basketball/news/thon-maker-waived-by-cavs/
  58. ^ Logue, Matt (7 April 2016). "Canada looks to poach rising Australian basketball star Thon Maker". DailyTelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 31 May 2018. Maker declared his intentions to play for the Boomers in April 2015 despite heavy interest from Basketball Canada...
  59. ^ "Japan score stunning upset win over Matthew Dellavedova, Thon Maker-led Boomers". Courier Mail. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  60. ^ "Bucks' Thon Maker suspended three FIBA games for role in ugly brawl between Australia and Philippines". CBSSports.com.
  61. ^ Uluc, Olgun (31 January 2017). "Thon Maker officially exempt from Trump's ban due to his dual citizenship". Fox Sports. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  62. ^ Bednall, Jai (22 October 2014). "Thon Maker, Australian basketball prospect, is a 7-footer that plays like a guard". News.com.au. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  63. ^ Borzello, Jeff (5 January 2018). "Matur Maker to skip college, enter NBA draft". ESPN.com. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  64. ^ Stamocostas, Con (1 July 2016). "Young star not desiring to emulate brother". FourFourTwo.com. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  65. ^ "Makur Maker - Men's Basketball". Howard University Athletics. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  66. ^ Horne, Ben (28 June 2016). "Aliir Aliir and Thon Maker revealed to be cousins as both chase their sporting dreams". DailyTelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  67. ^ "Australian NBA star Thon Maker reveals which AFL team he supports". SportingNews.com.au. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.

External linksEdit