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Peach Jamming With Thon Maker

Ed Wyatt


Ed Wyatt

Written on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 11:52

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The Peach Jam basketball tournament in North Augusta, South Carolina is a long way from Sydney. It's also a long way from South Sudan. But a young Sudanese/Australian named Thon Maker has colleges drooling, even though he's only heading into Year 10.

Maker, a 16-year old who is 7-feet tall, is making the rounds of the high-profile basketball camps and tournaments in the United States.

At last week's Peach Jam, Maker was up against highly-regarded 17-year old Jahlil Okafor and held his own, scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

Earlier, at the Pangos All-American camp in California – where young Aussie Ben Simmons starred last year – MaxPreps.com named Maker one of the five best players at the camp. Jason Hickman of MaxPreps wrote "(Maker) left onlookers shaking their heads in disbelief repeatedly with blocked shots, baseline jumpers, hustle plays and near-constant activity."

Obviously off the radar of most Australian basketball fans – even some of the hardcores – Maker is making a name for himself in the States and according to ESPN.com, Arizona, Georgetown, Miami and Virginia have already offered him scholarships.

He's rated among the top prospects in the class of 2016, which is the year he would finish high school in the US.

Maker is an Australian citizen, but lives in the United States with his guardian Edward Smith, who is also handling the overtures from universities. The pair originally moved from Sydney to New Orleans, but Maker is now enrolled in and playing for the Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia.

Maker, who came to Australian from South Sudan at the age of five, originally played soccer but his height and skill set work better on the basketball court. He is slender (200 pounds or 91 kilos) but getting stronger and tougher according to the scouts.

He's still quite young and potential doesn't always translate into success, but there's no doubt that Thon Maker is a name you may be hearing a fair bit over the next few years.

Videos:

Thon Maker highlights.

Thon Maker analysis.

Thon Maker interview.

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