211cm Aussie giant ready to make his mark
Giant-sized Australian teenager Makur Maker will enter the NBA Draft.
The athletic 19-year-old stands 211cm tall and is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Australian cousin Thon Maker, who was drafted 10th by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016 and now plays for the Detroit Pistons.
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Makur's mentor Ed Smith predicts the teenager's size, speed, athleticism and ability to shoot from distance will make him one of the top 14 picks in the June 25 draft.
"He is lottery talent," Smith told AAP. "He is really the only true 6ft 11 (211cm) player in the draft who can stretch the floor and still be physical around the basket."
Makur will complete his high school studies at the Pacific Academy in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, in June, but has been ruled eligible by the NBA to enter this year's draft.
Makur's parents are Sudanese. He was born in Kenya, moved to Australia in 2001 and has been in the US fine-tuning his basketball skills since 2015.
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken up this year's draft, with NBA teams unable to meet with players for workouts and the May 21-24 combine likely to be cancelled.
The draft may also be pushed back to a later date, particularly if the paused 2019-20 season starts back up later in the year forcing a revamped NBA calendar.
Makur is also open to playing a season with an elite US college and entering the 2021 NBA Draft if the pandemic delays the draft and current NBA season.
Makur, Thon and Thon's brother Matur, who plays in the NBA G League with Rio Grande Valley Vipers, have rented a house in Los Angeles and have been working out with former Sydney Kings big man turned trainer Anthony Susnjara.
Smith said all three Makers are keen to play for the Australian Olympic team. Future Olympic squads could be filled with Makers.
Makur's 13-year-old brother, Maper, is 203cm tall and just moved from Sydney to play for a high school in Arizona.
"You know what is crazy," Smith said. "Makur has a younger brother who is in Phoenix right now.
"He is an 8th grader.
"He is 13, 6ft 8 (203cm) and talented."
Originally published as 211cm Aussie giant ready to make his mark