At the NBA draft last week, Thon Maker was taken 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks, thus avoiding a potential free fall for the Sudanese-Australian prospect. The Bucks taking Maker that high assuredly means they are convinced that he is indeed 19, and not in his early 20s, which some teams believed going into the draft.
Maker’s early life remains tough to nail down. It’s known that he moved from Sudan to Australia at a young age before finishing out his high school career in Canada. The story Maker has gone with was that he migrated to Australia when he was five and that he was born in 1997, but some remained unconvinced.
Now, there is supposed “proof” that Maker has been lying about his age, and it comes via Reddit user bigcritic who said he lived in the same city where Maker grew up (Perth), and he got his hands on a yearbook that featured Maker listed in the graduating class of 2010 with a picture to boot.
If that is indeed true, it would put Maker’s actual age at 23 or 24, which would be a huge turnoff to the Bucks who took him thinking he was still a teenager and had several years to develop before he hit his prime.
For his part, Maker has denied the allegations to The Boston Globe, and the Milwaukee forward says he isn’t letting the accusations about his age bother him.
“It did get to me in terms of me hearing about it, but it didn’t get to me personally because if it were true, I’d probably be like sideways about it, but it’s not true, so I’m comfortable,” he said. “I’m not angry or anything. I’ve got to learn what I can say and what I can’t say now.”
Even if it turns out Maker is older than he says he is, it doesn’t mean he can’t still be an effective NBA player. Still, the Bucks would feel like fools if it turns out they had been tricked into taking a 24-year-old underdeveloped prospect in the lottery, so you can bet John Hammond and Jason Kidd are hoping that yearbook picture is a fake.