Thon Maker

Last updated

Thon Maker
Thon Maker (cropped).jpg
No. 7Detroit Pistons
Position Power forward / Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1997-02-25) 25 February 1997 (age 22)
Wau, Sudan
(now South Sudan)
NationalityAustralian / South Sudanese [1]
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school Carlisle School (Martinsville, Virginia)
Orangeville Prep (Orangeville, Ontario)
NBA draft 2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10th overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career2016–present
Career history
20162019 Milwaukee Bucks
2019–present Detroit Pistons
Stats at
Stats at

Thon Marial Maker (born 25 February 1997) [2] is a South Sudanese Australian [3] professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA). 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]

South Sudanese Australians are people of South Sudanese ancestry or birth who live in Australia. Following South Sudan's independence in July 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) included the country amongst the country of birth and ancestry options in the 2011 Census that took place in August. This census recorded 3,487 people born in South Sudan in Australia. However, the ABS note that "South Sudan-born were previously included in the Census count of the Sudan-born, and this is highly likely with a large number in the 2011 Census". Of the 3,487, the largest number were living in the state of Victoria (1,118), followed by Queensland (715), then New South Wales (561) and Western Australia (489). A total of 4,825 people indicated that they were of partial or full South Sudanese ancestry.

Basketball Team sport

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

Detroit Pistons Professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association

The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division and plays its home games at Little Caesars Arena. The team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne (Zollner) Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League (NBL) where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945. The Pistons later joined the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1948. The NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA in 1949, and the Pistons became part of the merged league. In 1957, the franchise moved to Detroit. The Pistons have won three NBA championships: in 1989, 1990 and 2004.


Early life

Maker was born in Wau, [2] 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 [7] and the family eventually settled down. [8]

Wau, South Sudan Place in Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan

Wau is a city in northwestern South Sudan, on the western bank of the Jur River, that serves as capital for Wau State. It lies approximately 650 kilometres (400 mi) northwest of the capital Juba. A culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse urban center and trading hub, Wau is also the former headquarters of Western Bahr el Ghazal.

Makur Maker is a South Sudanese-born Australian basketball player for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League. Born in what is now South Sudan, he moved to Australia in his childhood and played for various prep schools in Canada and the United States. Maker was ranked among the top power forwards in his class but chose to skip college and immediately play professionally. He is the younger brother of National Basketball Association (NBA) player Thon Maker.

Second Sudanese Civil War civil war

The Second Sudanese Civil War was a conflict from 1983 to 2005 between the central Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army. It was largely a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972. Although it originated in southern Sudan, the civil war spread to the Nuba mountains and the Blue Nile. It lasted for 22 years and is one of the longest civil wars on record. The war resulted in the independence of South Sudan six years after the war ended.

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. [9] 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. [8]

Mirrabooka, Western Australia Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Mirrabooka is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Its local government area is the City of Stirling.

Ater James Majok is a Sudanese-born Australian-Lebanese professional basketball player for the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League (NBL). He was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2011 NBA draft with the 58th overall pick.

Mathiang Mauot Muo is an Australian-Sudanese professional basketball player for the Bendigo Braves of the NBL1. The 6'5" swingman graduated from Charleston Southern University in 2013 before joining the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League (NBL). Due to injury, he managed just 15 games for the Wildcats over two seasons. Muo has also had stints in the State Basketball League (SBL) for the East Perth Eagles and Goldfields Giants, and played for the SEABL's Brisbane Spartans in 2016. In 2018, he helped the Hobart Chargers win the SEABL Championship.

High school career

Once in the United States, Maker attended two schools in Louisiana, including Metairie Park Country Day School, [10] before finally settling down at Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia. [8] 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. [11] As a sophomore, he earned 2013–14 Gatorade Virginia Boys Basketball Player of the Year honours after leading Carlisle to a state championship. [12]

Metairie Park Country Day School is a private, nondenominational, co-educational college preparatory school preparatory day school in Metairie, Louisiana, with classes in grades Pre-Kindergarten–12. The 14-acre (5.7 ha) campus is located in the Old Metairie section of Metairie, Louisiana.

Carlisle School is a private, college preparatory, Independent School located in Martinsville, Virginia, United States, that teaches Preschool 3 through Grade 12. It serves nearly 400 students. It was established in 1968. The Head of School is Gracie Agnew.

Martinsville, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Martinsville is an independent city near the southern border of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,821. It is the county seat of Henry County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes.

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. [13]

Athlete Institute

The Athlete Institute is an athletic centre located in Mono, Ontario. It is made up of two facilities, the training centre and the fieldhouse. The institute is home to the Athlete Institute Basketball Academy Bears, who compete in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA). Orangeville District Secondary School provides academic instruction for the institute's students. It was formerly home to the Orangeville A's of the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL).

Mono, Ontario Town in Ontario, Canada

The Town of Mono is situated in south-central Ontario, Canada, at the south-east corner of Dufferin County. It stretches from Highway 9 along its southern border to Highway 89 along its northern border. Its border to the west is with the Township of Amaranth and in the east it is bordered by the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio. It was previously known as the Township of Mono.

Orangeville District Secondary School is located at 22 Faulkner Street in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, and is the oldest secondary school in the town. It was built in its current state after the old high school burned down in 1948. Currently, grades 9 through 12 are housed at O.D.S.S. There are 1,350 students that attend this school. The principal is Patrick Hamilton and the vice principals are Steve Wynen & Lisa Sanvido

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. [14] [15] He later participated in the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon. [16] [17] 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. [18]

The Nike Hoop Summit is an international men's basketball all-star game sponsored by Nike, held once a year since 1995, except from 2001-2003, which features the USA Basketball Men's Junior Select Team against a World Select Team of international players. The players demonstrate their skills and hope to attract attention from either NBA scouts or colleges. A number of current NBA players have participated in this event in the past.

Portland, Oregon city in Oregon, USA

Portland, officially the City of Portland, is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. As of 2018, Portland had an estimated population of 653,115, making it the 25th most populated city in the United States, and the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest after Seattle. Approximately 2.4 million people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area (MSA), making it the 25th most populous in the United States. Its combined statistical area (CSA) ranks 19th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million. Approximately 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area.

Ben Simmons Australian basketball player

Benjamin David Simmons is an Australian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for one season with the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers, when he was named a consensus first-team All-American and the USBWA National Freshman of the Year. He was selected with the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the 76ers. After sitting out a year due to an injured right foot, he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2018. He received his first All-Star selection in 2019.

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". [19] He was being recruited by Arizona State, Florida State, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Notre Dame, St. John's, and UNLV. [20]

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. [21] 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 [12] 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 [22] and the first to play in the NBA since the league introduced the "one-and-done" rule for high school students in 2005. [23] [24]

Professional career

NBA Draft

Maker attended the 2016 NBA Draft Combine, where he was measured as the third-tallest player without shoes at 6'11.75" [25] and recorded the highest no-step vertical jump (32") of any player over 6'11" in NBA Draft Combine history. [26] [27] 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. [28] Despite those concerns, he was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, [29] [30] becoming the first high school player taken in the first round since the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement went into effect. [12]

Milwaukee Bucks (2016–2019)

During the 2016 NBA Summer League, Maker averaged 14.2 points and 9.6 rebounds [31] in five games for the Bucks and subsequently earned All-NBA Summer League Second Team honours. [32] On 30 July 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Bucks. [33] 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; [34] he recorded one rebound. [35] 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. [36] On 1 February 2017, he scored a season-high 12 points in a 104–88 loss to the Utah Jazz. [37] 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. [38] The following day, he had a second 12-point effort in a 116–100 win over the Indiana Pacers. [37] On 31 March 2017, he scored a career-high 23 points in a 108–105 overtime win over the Detroit Pistons. [39]

On 22 November 2017, Maker scored a season-high 16 points against the Phoenix Suns. [40] On 1 January 2018, he tied his season high with 16 points against the Toronto Raptors. [40] 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. [41] [42] He again blocked five shots in Game 4, helping the Bucks even the series at 2–2 with a 104–102 win. [43] The Bucks went on to lose the series in seven games. [44]

On 7 January 2019, Maker had a season-high 15 points off the bench in a 114–102 win over the Jazz. [45] By late January, having had a reduced role in 2018–19 under new coach Mike Budenholzer, Maker reportedly requested a trade from the Bucks. [46]

Detroit Pistons (2019–present)

On 7 February 2019, Maker was acquired by the Detroit Pistons in a three-team trade involving the Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans. [47] [48] 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. [49]

National team career

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. [50] On 29 June 2018, he made his international debut for Australia in a FIBA World Cup qualifier against Japan. [51] 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. [52]

Career statistics

  GPGames 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


Regular season

2016–17 Milwaukee 57349.9.459.378.6532.
2017–18 Milwaukee 741216.7.411.298.6993.
2018–19 Milwaukee 35011.7.440.333.5412.
2018–19 Detroit 29519.4.373.307.7663.


2017 Milwaukee 6619.3.387.200.8183.
2018 Milwaukee 6221.7.393.300.7143.
2019 Detroit 4217.

Personal life

Maker is an Australian and South Sudanese citizen. [53]

Maker's parents, who descend from the Dinka people, still live in South Sudan [8] and are also both extremely tall; his father is 203 cm (6'8") and his mother is 190 cm (6'3"). [54] His brother, Matur, attempted to enter the 2018 NBA draft in a manner similar to Thon before deciding to play internationally instead. [55] Another brother, Maker Maker, plays soccer for South Melbourne FC's under-20 team. [56] A cousin of Maker's, Makur, attends West Hills Chaminade Prep School in Los Angeles. [57] Another cousin, Aliir Aliir, plays in the Australian Football League for the Sydney Swans. [58] In March 2018, Maker confirmed he supports the Swans due to his family connection, despite previously supporting the two West Australian teams. [59]

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