In an interesting challenge to the NBA trying to keep straight-out-high school players from the league, Thon Maker, a Sudanese-Australian basketball who plays high school ball in Canada, announced he plans to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft.
Who is it possible? Well, Maker is hoping to take advantage of the rules, that state player must be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school in order to be draft eligible. Maker has turned 19 already but is still attending high school at Orangeville Prep in Orangeville, Ontario. Maker is hoping to convince the league that he was part of the 2015 graduating class, deciding to stay in high school another year to do a post-graduate year.
Right now, he’s waiting for official word from the league regarding his eligibility, but until he declared for the draft, he wouldn’t get an answer. Last season there was talk of Maker reclassifying to the 2015 class and enter college for the 2015-16 season, but he decided to remain at Orangeville to play with his younger brother. He’s now supposed to start pre-draft workouts, probably in the next few weeks, although it remains to be see if the NBA will help him in his attempt to be the league’s first straight out of high school player since 2005.
Maker is a 7’1 power forward who was born in South Sudan, later moving to Australia and from there he made his way to the United States, first at a Texas talent camp. He played for two schools in Louisiana before finding himself in Martinsville, Virginia at Carlisle school. 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.
In 2014 he and his younger brother enrolled at the Athlete Institute in Mono, Ontario. In conjunction with the Athlete Institute, the brothers enrolled at Orangeville District Secondary School in the nearby town of Orangeville. While there are a lot of intriguing aspects to Maker besides his size like his defense and his physicality, he has small hands which worries NBA scouts, doesn’t have much range and doesn’t have the feel for the game NBA teams like their players to have. Right now, he’s projected to be a second round pick at best if he actually becomes eligible, although working out with NBA teams might change that. 7-Feet potentials tend to get picked pretty early.