Thon Maker profile
Drafted #10 in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Bucks
RCSI: 9 (2016)
Height: 7'1" (216 cm)
Weight: 216 lbs (98 kg)
Position: PF
High School: Athlete Institute (Ontario)
Hometown: Wau, Sudan
Current Team: Al Riyadi
Win - Loss: 24 - 4
Thon Maker Workout and Interview at the Adidas EuroCamp in Treviso


Thon Maker Workout at the Adidas EuroCamp in Treviso

2017 adidas Eurocamp: Day Two

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Jun 10, 2017, 06:31 pm
Tucked away in the back gym, DraftExpress had the opportunity in between games to watch Thon Maker and his younger brother, Matur Maker, work out with Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Josh Broghamer. Thon is an adidas endorser and is here on their behalf at the EuroCamp watching the games, talking to the players, and being a highly inspirational story as someone that was in their shoes not very long ago, having played here in 2014.  Thon is coming off a fantastic rookie season and doesn't appear to be resting on his laurels at all. He has been lifting diligently (even while here in Treviso) and appears to be much bigger in both the upper and lower body. He shot the ball extremely well in the workout we watched, and is likely going to have an even better sophomore year for the Bucks based on what we saw from him as a rookie as well as here at the EuroCamp. 

Henry Ellenson and Thon Maker Grassrots Rewind

Jun 13, 2016, 10:24 am

Thon Maker 2016 NBA Pre-Draft Workout Video and Interview

Matt McGann
Matt McGann
May 27, 2016, 12:11 pm
Thon Maker works out in preparation for the 2016 NBA Draft in New York City.

Thanks to Anthony Seratelli of Ars1Productions for his assistance in filming this video
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Thon Maker Exclusive Post NBA Draft Decision Interview

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Apr 04, 2016, 12:36 pm
Thon Maker tells us, in his own words, why he decided to enter the 2016 NBA Draft. He also dives deep into his philosophy on basketball and life on and off the court, talks about specific NBA players he studies, and much more.
See Also:
Thon Maker Eschews College Basketball - Will Attempt to Enter NBA Draft

What made you decide to enter the 2016 NBA Draft?

When I found out I had the opportunity to enter this year's draft it was a no brainer to me. I've always had the dream of playing in the NBA and I feel that I am ready.

What has the NBA told you about your petition to become draft-eligible this year?

I am awaiting a response from the NBA.

When did you learn that this possibility of becoming draft-eligible in 2016 was realistic?

Right after our season was done. My guardian came and told me that he felt that I was eligible for this year's draft. I was like what? I think it was March 25th. He didn't have to ask me anything. I just said let's go. I was a little upset he didn't tell me earlier, but I understood. He didn't want me feeling pressure this year and playing differently during the season. He just wanted me to enjoy my last year of high school ball, which I did.

You took some visits to college campuses recently, for example Kansas. How much of a role did those play in your decision to enter the draft?

I was excited to visit Kansas, St John's and Indiana. Those three coaches all showed me different approaches to winning and developing. I was really looking forward to my visit to Arizona State and Notre Dame. My guy Brian Merrit is at ASU and I was leaning that way. I loved Coach Hurley's fire. When he got that tech early in the season, I was like ‘I want to play for this guy.'

Notre Dame had my teammate Nikola going there, so I was looking at that because we were really close in one year of playing and winning the OSBA Championship together, and I enjoyed playing on the Under Armour Circuit last year. Coach Brey was very cool when he visited me, and they made an unbelievable run in the tournament. The choices would have been tough.

When I had the chance to enter the Draft, I started of thinking about College vs Pro. The NBA game, talent, spacing, rotations, terminology, clock and practice time is so much more different than college. I watch a lot of ball, both games and practices. I felt that if I could do this full time, it would be great. If I went to college I could not see myself not taking my academics seriously. I would want to take serious classes and do well in them. I would have to split time in my focus. My approach is to always go all out and try to be the best if I'm going to do something.

Are you testing the waters, or will you be hiring an agent officially?

When I get the go ahead from the NBA, I'm all in. If you're doing something you have to be confident in your choice. This process is not a game. I've played with NBA players before and their approach is business like, even though they are having fun out there.

Is there any chance you may withdraw your name from the draft and try again next year if you don't like what you're hearing through the pre-draft process?

As I said, I'm all in.

What is the early feedback you're receiving about your draft range?

I just stated my intentions. When I hire my agent, I will rely on their feedback about my draft range.

How important is it for you to be picked as early as possible in the draft?

It's more important for me to be picked where I fit. When I'm on an NBA team I'm going to get my apartment five to ten mins walking distance to the practice facility. I'm going to live in the gym. I'm just ready to go to work every day. I want to be picked early, but I also want to go where it is a good fit.

What is your plan for the next three months to get ready for draft day?

I'm going to keep working on my body. I really have to define my areas where I feel I can help a team win. Sometimes in a high school game you have to adjust based on the level of talent you have on the floor. In the NBA, everybody is talented. Teams want to win, so you have to show your talent and potential.

Why did you decide to withdraw from the Nike Hoop Summit, considering the amount of NBA talent evaluators that will be in attendance?

I was really attending the Nike Hoop Summit to help the World Team continue their winning streak. I just came from playing a 43 game high school season, where we played the toughest schedule in the nation. The Grind Session where we played this year had our team playing Oak Hill, Findlay, Huntington, API, Prolific Prep, Hillcrest, Potter House and many more. We traveled to 13 or 14 states and played top players like Deandre Ayton, Udoka Azubuike, Billy Preston, Trevon Duval, Josh Jackson, Terrance Ferguson, Miles Bridges and many more. It's too much to write, but the Grind Session circuit was tough. I'm pretty banged up. Once I decided that I would declare for the Draft, I felt my preparation was more important. I will have more than enough opportunities to be in front of those very same scouts during the Draft process.

How much of that had to do with your experience at last year's Hoop Summit?

Last year's experience was great from a learning perspective. It was one of the first times that I was not the focus on a team. I only played 14 minutes, but I felt my 10 rebounds helped us win. I think I will be evaluated on my body of work. There is enough video out there to go beyond the mixtape guys. If you were to look at my play head to head against Skal Labissiere at the NBPA Top 100 camp, there would be a whole different impression than the Hoop Summit. At the NBPA Top 100 camp, I was able to work with NBA coaches and former NBA players. They were able to read who I was and put me in a position to be successful. I had the same success in Treviso with the Adidas EuroCamp and at the NBA Basketball Without Borders Americas and in Toronto. At the Hoop Summit this year, I feel I would have been that guy. I think Coach Rana had a feel for me after watching me over this past year. I was one of the younger guys last year.

I'm disappointed to not be going, but I have to prioritize. I think the most important thing is that we won the game last year, and I hope we have the same level of success this year. I think more people have formed opinions based on the Hoop Summit, mixtapes, or a game where they saw me after playing four games in six days across three states. For me I feel every experience brings growth. I remember watching an old playoff game when Kobe had all those airballs against Utah. Now look at his body of work.

You haven't had a great deal of opportunity to show yourself in front of NBA decision makers, since most of the events you've played at were off limits to scouts due to the age limit. The ones you were able to play in that they attended were the Basketball Without Borders in Toronto, the Hoop Summit in Portland last year, and the adidas EuroCamp. Do you think they've been able to see the best of what you have to offer as a prospect, or are there specific things you can show them in the pre-draft process that might change their perception about you?

NBA scouts' perception will always change as you improve, stay the same, or get worse. Look at Steph Curry.

I've only been playing this game seriously since January 28, 2011. I still have my train pass to my first practice at Next Level Basketball Australia. The sky is the limit on what I can become and what I can do. In the league you have access 24/7 to the best teachers in the world. All you have to do is listen and work and live in the gym. My routine will be the same everyday no matter the day. Look at Kawhi Leonard or Jimmy Butler. That's just work. Even look at Kobe from when he first got to the league to now. You have to work and love it.

What are your plans in regard to the NBA Combine? Will you participate if invited?

No question. I'm there if I get invited.

Will you be attending the BioSteel High School All-Canadian Game and Practice?

I am headed to begin my workouts with Drew [Hanlen] this week. I hope to be back in time for the game.

Considering the direction the NBA is heading in, with the increasing emphasis on perimeter shooting, how important will it be for you to shoot the ball well in workouts to show teams what your role could be for them?

Shooting the ball well is not as important as how you shoot the ball. If I make 1000 game shots a day for the next five years, I'll be a great shooter. My mechanics have to be sound. My footwork and balance has to be sound.

With that in mind, what kind of a shooter are you right now?

That is a strength of mine. My mindset is that everything is going in. I look at Kristaps Porzingis and I think about how he is used in the NBA. I can do that. He is a mobile big.

If you put me in a wide pin down, Iverson cut, stagger double, horns action, or any pinch post action I can score or help my team score. I can hit the trailing three or pick and pop off the ball reversal. I shot a little over 90% from the line over the past two seasons. That's with going to the line about 8 times per game. Making shots consistently in the future won't be a problem. If you consistently work at something with a purpose, you can perfect it.

What else can you bring a NBA team right now?

I like to win so I work hard. I come from a winning culture. On my AI Prep team Coach Lesovsky talks about winning habits all the time. Even when you lose, you want to have played with winning habits. My guardian has been in my head about winning in the classroom and on the court from our first practice with NLBA in Australia.

On the court, defensively I can hard hedge, weak, or ice pick and rolls very well. I've picked up some of these NBA terminology from our pro coach Chris Thomas who was coaching in the NBA for a while. It helps me in learning how to guard multiple positions. Offensively I can stretch the floor and I can beat most bigs down the floor. I've always run the floor hard because it helps us to be able to score early in transition or get me in a mismatch situation.

How ready are you to contribute starting next season?

That's a hard question. If I'm playing behind LaMarcus Aldridge or Blake Griffin, my opportunity is limited to spot minutes because those guys have experience and are allstars. If I go to a team where I'm needed I'll be ready from day one.

What kind of player will you be 3-5 years from now?

I see myself more like KG on the blocks, but also being able to be used in multiple perimeter based actions. I see myself quarterbacking our defense and being a mismatch on offense.

For me, I also have to be talking about making a run at an NBA championship or going deep into the playoffs. I still remember the feeling of winning the 8th grade AAU Nationals with DunkDog, winning the State Championship with Carlisle high school, and winning the OSBA Canadian Championship with AI Prep. Those were better than all the MVPs, rankings, or awards I've won. 3-5 years of doing what you love? How can't you be great.

Thon Maker Eschews College Basketball -Will Attempt to Enter NBA Draft

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Apr 03, 2016, 08:57 pm
Thon Maker, a Sudanese 7-footer by way of Australia who plays his high school basketball in Canada, will attempt to enter the 2016 NBA Draft, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told DraftExpress.

The 19-year old Maker believes he has a strong case to be considered draft eligible, since he reportedly graduated high school in Canada in June of 2015, and is now technically in his fifth year of high school.

The official NBA collective bargaining agreement rule states that a player can be eligible for selection in the NBA Draft if “the player is or will be at least nineteen years of age during the calendar year in which the Draft is held, and, at least one NBA Season has elapsed since the player's graduation from high school.”

Subsequently, Maker has elected to withdraw from participating in the Nike Hoop Summit event this upcoming week in Portland in order to focus on his workouts and preparation for the draft. Maker had participated in last year's event and did not leave a strong impression throughout the week of practices and games.

Once considered a potentially transcendent prospect, mostly by uninformed voices based on his Youtube highlight reels, Maker's draft stock has never really gotten off the ground in the eyes of NBA scouts as he has struggled to separate himself in many of the events he's been seen at.

Besides Portland last year, the last exposure NBA scouts have gotten to Maker came in Toronto at the NBA Basketball Without Borders Global Camp during All-Star Weekend, which we attended alongside numerous scouts and executives. Maker had a better showing there, but still did not dominate the event the way some may have expected considering he was the oldest player in attendance.

Still, Maker is very highly regarded by the high school recruiting services, as he's ranked as a top five prospect in the loaded 2016 class by

His competitiveness, physicality and intensity level are impressive for a 7-footer with a 9'3 standing reach, and the fact that he's been able to add some bulk to his upper body and can knock down an open 3-pointer at times bodes well for his role-playing potential. So will his work ethic and strong character. Still, his lack of offensive polish, pencil thin legs, average feel for the game and explosiveness suggest that may be the extent of his long-term upside. And considering how big the jump is from high school basketball to the NBA, it will likely take years to achieve that, which some teams may feel is not worth the time or effort it will require.

With that in mind, Maker will be relying on building momentum in pre-draft workouts and potentially the NBA Combine to try and cement himself as a first round caliber prospect. If he can showcase a more polished offensive arsenal than he's been able to display up until now, in particular a more consistent jump-shot, he could certainly help his standing.

College coaches may express disappointment in Maker's decision, as he had taken official visits to schools like Kansas as recently as the past few weeks. Amateurism concerns were likely always going to be a significant hurdle in Maker's ability to ever get eligible for college, and may have played a role in his surprise decision to enter the 2016 NBA Draft.

Maker will now wait to see if the NBA agrees with his belief that he should be considered draft-eligible already in 2016.

2016 Nike Hoop Summit International Roster Breakdown

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Mar 24, 2016, 12:14 pm
Thon Maker returns for a second appearance at the Nike Hoop Summit, after an uneven showing in last year's event. A year older and more physically developed, Maker will have a chance to regain some of the ground he lost. While not the most explosive athlete or skilled perimeter shooter, Maker is a big time competitor who is not afraid to put a body on opposing big men and is more than willing to do the dirty work. Although he's unlikely to emerge as the NBA superstar his YouTube highlights unfairly billed him as earlier in his career, Maker can still continue to show the type of defensive versatility and team spirit he's become more known for recently. He finished the 2015 Hoop Summit with 2 points and 10 rebounds over 14 minutes.

There's still some question marks about whether or not he may be eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft, and his performance in Portland will go a long way in clearing up how much he might want to force the issue there.

Basketball Without Borders Global Camp Evaluations: Power Forwards

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Feb 16, 2016, 01:10 pm
Thon Maker, 7'1, Orangeville Prep, Sudan/Australia, 1997

Jonathan Givony

-Has great size for a big man at 7'1. Has gotten bigger in the upper body. Reportedly around 225 pounds now.
-Fairly quick off his feet. Can play above the rim with time and space
-Physical and competitive big man. Plays with a superb motor at all times. Doesn't give up space in the post. Went at DeAndre Ayton with everything he had.
-Fairly versatile defensively. Hedges out long almost to half-court with quick feet. Will come up with some chase-down blocks in transition. Has solid timing. Has some potential switching on perimeter defensively.
-Willing to take hits around the basket.
-Will pass ahead in transition.
-Can handle the ball and attack in a straight line
-Will knock down an occasional catch and shoot 3-pointer.
-Looks like a great teammate. Intelligent guy off the court.

-Does not have great length relative to his height. Also has very small hands.
-Lacks lower body strength and not clear how much he can continue to fill out with his very narrow frame
-Good, not great athlete
-Bobbles a lot of good passes
-Feel for the game is not great. Looks way too sped up, forces the issue quite a bit. Turns the ball over more than you'd hope
-Struggled to make plays inside the arc in the half-court, but is not a consistent threat from the perimeter either.
-Shooting mechanics are not great. Slow and rigid release. Does not have great touch. Struggled with his jumper all week
-Slow reacting to things on the fly, particularly defensively. Awareness is just average
-Just an average rebounder due to lack of length, small hands and questionable timing

Outlook: Was a year or two older (on paper) than all the other prospects in attendance, but did not have an overwhelmingly productive camp. Somewhat stuck between the power forward and center positions. Long-term he is likely better suited for a role as an energy-giving big man rather than the superstar he was being hyped as. May need a few years in college to continue to improve his skill-level and frame.

2015 Nike Hoop Summit Video Interview: Thon Maker

Apr 18, 2015, 08:17 pm
An interview with elite high school prospect Thon Maker of the World Select Team at the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit.

More DX Nike Hoop Summit Coverage
-Final Game Recap
-Nike Hoop Summit Shooting Drills: George Lucas
-Nike Hoop Summit Shooting Drills: Zhou Qi
-Chase Jeter Interview
-Brandon Ingram Interview
-Jamal Murray Interview
-Luke Kennard Interview
-Malik Newman Interview
-Caleb Swanigan Interview
-USA Scrimmage Two
-World Team Practice Day Five
-World Team Practice Day Four
-Ivan Rabb Interview
-Nike Hoop Summit Shooting Drills: Skal Labissiere
-Nike Hoop Summit Shooting Drills: Tai Wynyard
-Team USA Scrimmage One Recap
-Cheick Diallo Interview
-Tai Wynyard Interview
-One on One Drills: Skal Labissiere vs Thon Maker
-Federico Mussini Interview
-International Practice: Day Three
-USA Practice Day One
-Skal Labissiere Interview
-Ben Simmons Interview
-International Practice Recap Days One and Two
-World Select Team Measurements and Analysis
-USA Junior National Select Team Measurements and Analysis
-International Roster Breakdown

2015 Nike Hoop Summit Final Recap

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Apr 11, 2015, 07:39 pm
Thon Maker – 2 PTS, 10 REBS (5 offensive), 0-for-5 FGs in 14 min

Maker played hard and was very active on the glass but really struggled on the offensive end, bobbling passes (which he did all week), forcing shots at the rim and showing below average basketball instincts. Maker is a unique prospect given his size, length and mobility but the game was too fast for him on Saturday and he didn't show much in terms of touch or skill in the game after an up and down week of practice.

2015 Nike Hoop Summit: International Practice: Day Four

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Apr 09, 2015, 08:45 pm
Thon Maker continued to play with great energy, showing terrific activity and much more toughness than you'd expect considering his extremely frail frame. Offensively he wasn't overly productive, at times looking too focused on showing off his ball-handling skills and forcing the issue rather than making the simple pass. His versatility and basketball IQ is very impressive at his size, and it will be interesting to see if his outside shot can continue to become more consistent.

2015 Nike Hoop Summit: International Measurements

Apr 06, 2015, 07:01 pm
Thon Maker
Height (w/ shoes): 7-0
Weight: 218
Wingspan: 7-3 1/4
Hand Width: 9
Hand Length: 9
Standing Reach: 9-3
Country: Sudan

Maker's terrific 9-3 standing reach stands out immediately among power forwards, as it's one of the ten longest in our database at that position. While his skill-set and scoring instincts aren't even in the same stratosphere and his game doesn't really resemble his much at all, the closest comp we can find in terms of body type is indeed that of Kevin Durant's. He's actually 12 pounds heavier than Nerlens Noel was coming out of Kentucky, so there is definitely plenty of time for him to continue to fill out.

2014 adidas Nations Interview: Thon Maker

Aug 04, 2014, 05:19 pm

2014 adidas EuroCamp: Day One

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jun 07, 2014, 01:39 pm
Elite 2016 big man Thon Maker is one of the top attractions of this year's event, and he delivered in the adidas USA select team's matchup with the French U20 National Team scoring 22 points on 9/16 from the field in a 77-67 loss. Averaging 13.9 points and 7.7 points per-game for Team Loaded VA in the inaugural season of adidas AAU-circuit, the Gauntlet, the Sudanese born big man has been among the most hyped players in all of youth basketball recently due to his blend of size and skill in addition to his unique backstory that took him across the globe before he landed at the Carlisle School in Virginia.

Knocking down a number of jump shots over the course of today's game, Maker's unusually deft perimeter stroke for a player his size was obvious, as he was able to score from the midrange both off the dribble and when facing up and even connected on the lone three-pointer he attempted. Taking and making a number of difficult, off-balance shots, Maker's fluid mechanics are highlighted by terrific follow through which coupled with his size and footwork, help him overcome his sometimes questionable shot selection, making him a difficult matchup.

At this point in his career, Maker's main weaknesses are obvious on first glance. Lacking physical strength in a major way like most 17 year old 7-footers, he's not a refined scorer in the post, struggles to finish through contact, and has trouble defending more physically mature players on the block. Matching up with the 6'11, 249-pound Mouhammadou Jaiteh for stretches today, Maker, who weighed 195 pounds at the LeBron James Skills Academy last year, unsurprisingly had a difficult time keeping the far more experienced French center away from the rim. His 7'2 wingspan makes him a capable shot blocker at the high school level, but he's still in the early stages of his development on this end of the floor as his fundamentals remain a work in progress

Eligible to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft at the earliest right now, Thon Maker gave the dozens of NBA decision-makers in attendance a glimpse of things to come. One of the youngest players at this event, his special talent is unmistakable. Few players his age can step into a setting like this one and hold up against more mature, organized competition, and there's little doubt this will be the first of many times we write about the promising power forward in the coming years.

Thon Maker and DeAndre Ayton Video Interviews

Aug 07, 2013, 09:03 am

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