Just hours before last Thursday's NBA draft, reports surfaced stating that a number of teams considered Thon Maker, who worked the system to enter the draft out of high school, as a second round pick because they questioned his listed age of 19.
The Milwaukee Bucks were clearly not one of those organizations. They selected Maker with the 10th overall pick, a move that puzzled some who felt the Bucks could've moved down in the draft and still would've been able to pick Maker, given his fall on draft boards around the league.
Now that he's in his new home, Maker is adamant that he was unfazed by the rumors that he's older than 19. From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:
“It did get to me in terms of me hearing about it, but it didn’t get to me personally because if it were true, I’d probably be like sideways about it, but it’s not true, so I’m comfortable,” he said. “I’m not angry or anything. I’ve got to learn what I can say and what I can’t say now.”
Maker continued on about his journey to this point, and the surreal feeling that overcame him when Milwaukee made him a top-10 pick. From Washburn:
“It was five years [ago] when I decided I first wanted to be a pro and take basketball serious,” Maker said. “So it’s been a long time because I’ve put in a lot of games, a lot of work, and to finally see it pay off, really — I lost words. When I was walking there, trying to say thank you to my family, just took lots of words, and I speak with them every day. It was a different situation. Mentally, you just can’t wait. Physically, you’re trying to control yourself, and at the same time it’s unreal.”
Maker bounced around from his native Sudan to Australia, the United States, and eventually Canada over the last five years, going anywhere that would help his basketball career. Now, he begins a new journey as an NBA player, and he's already learning to ignore the noise from the outside.
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