Bucks Lead

Maker Committed to Bucks, Community

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Basketball is primarily a game of rules. Two hands equal a trip to the line. Touching the ball in the cylinder equals goaltending. But thankfully, there’s some gray area. Otherwise, basketball would be pretty boring. And thankfully for the Bucks, it turns out the age minimum has some odd exceptions too. Even though 7′ 1″ Thon Maker never played in college, he cleverly argued an extra year in a Canadian prep school counted as the required extra year. This worked so far as the NBA was concerned, allowing Milwaukee to select him 10th in the 2016 draft. The rest isn’t history yet, but the once intriguing prospect certainly has a promising future.

Winding Road to NBA

Maker was able to escape troubled Sudan at six and eventually made his way through a mysterious Australian prep program. Since his skills were raw entering the draft, experts considered Maker a gamble. But the rising Bucks could afford to roll the dice. ESPN’s Dana O’Neil observed:

“By all accounts, Maker is intelligent, thoughtful and respectful. Scouts who have seen him work out say he is the antithesis of the coddled protégé: He’s a hard worker with a high motor who clearly has studied the game to get better”.

In his second year, however, Maker averaged just 16.7 minutes and 4.8 points a game. Would the sultan of block become another washout? His remarkable performance in the playoffs quickly gave the lie to this dismissal:

In an interview, Maker comfortably argued that outside shooting is a “very important” part of the game, prophetically predicting its increasing role for big men:

The Bucks are all-in for the 18-19 season, and Maker is rifling through the deck for his ace.

Maker brings his best game to the table in the community too, recently reading to children. Hopefully, with the Bucks’ help, Milwaukee can soon rival Chicago for multiculturalism (and with a much better team!)

Current Success and Fan Favorite

With so much talent on the roster, Thon has still battled for playing time. But he’s shooting a career-best 47.1% from the field and played 23 great minutes when the Bucks needed a helper to blow out Toronto with Giannis out. Bucks play-by-play announcer Ted Davis coined the fitting nickname of “Thon Maker, shot taker” which has become a fan favorite.

Although Mike Budenholzer must choose from a barrage of three-point riches, and Maker’s name could appear in trade rumors, the excitement he has flashed in bit roles rivals those of any NBA big man. And should an injury or departure open a starting job, a poised and determined Maker will be ready to become the Bucks’ next championship claim staker.

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About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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