Thon Maker’s basketball path has been full of turns. From Sudan to Australia to the United States to Canada, the 7-foot prospect has had a unique journey on his way to becoming one of the top prospects in the Class of 2016. In 2014, he shocked many when he left the United States, after emerging as one of the top high school recruits in America, to join Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario. Now, his guardian has announced another twist to his story — the Sudanese will apply to the 2016 NBA Draft and forgo college. The argument being made on his behalf is that he technically graduated from high school last year and has been doing a post-graduate year this season. And being that he already turned 19 in February, Maker may have found a loophole. Your move, NBA.
Five-star recruit Thon Maker will declare for early entry into the 2016 NBA draft, which will require a ruling from the NBA to determine his eligibility.
“We believe that Thon has fulfilled the academic requirements to be eligible for the 2016 draft,” Edward Smith, Maker’s legal guardian, said to Bleacher Report. “He will apply for the 2016 NBA draft and await approval from the NBA.”
“Thon has been the hardest-working and the most astute kid I’ve coached in my 23 years of coaching,” Smith said. “I’m happy to have placed him in the position to have this choice.”
Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com provided more details to the eligibility questions surrounding Maker. NBA rules require players to be 19 years old and a year removed from high school. While Maker turned 19 in February, he attends Orangeville Prep in Canada. Essentially, the NBA has to buy the premise Maker was part of the 2015 class and did a post-graduate year for him to be eligible for the draft.
Borzello cited sources saying that said Maker would not get an answer regarding his eligibility until he actually declared for the draft. He is still waiting for the confirmation, as of Sunday.
Maker has been at Orangeville Prep the past two years after attending Metairie Park Country Day School in Louisiana for eighth grade and Carlisle School in Virginia for ninth and 10th grade.