High-schooler Thon Maker to attempt to declare for 2016 NBA draft

Five-star basketball recruit Thon Maker will attempt to forgo college and declare for the 2016 NBA draft (Gregory Payan/AP)

Five-star basketball recruit Thon Maker will attempt to forgo college and declare for the 2016 NBA draft, he announced on Bleacher Report Sunday.

Maker is technically able to make the jump straight to the NBA from college as he is 19 years old and will have completed high school in time for the draft.

According to Bleacher Report’s Adam Wells, Maker’s decision will require a special ruling from the NBA to see if eligibility would actually be allowed or not.

A 7-foot-1 power forward/centre prospect, the Sudanese-Australian has played the majority of his high school ball at the Athlete’s Institute based in Orangeville, Ont.

The NBA first implemented its age limit rule in 2006. The last batch of high school-to-NBA prospects to make it through was in 2005 and included the likes of Andrew Bynum, Monta Ellis and Amir Johnson.

In 2015 the Dallas Mavericks took Satnam Singh straight out of high school, but he was a post-graduate senior, so the precedent that set may not hold true with Maker, who could’ve declared for college this season but instead elected to remain a prospect for the 2016 class.

Maker burst onto the collegiate and NBA scouting radar mainly thanks to a series of mixtapes (see below) that showed off his unique athleticism, ball-handling and shooting touch for a man his size.

He participated in the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit, where he played alongside fellow Australian and projected 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons, who just recently wrapped up his lone season at LSU before he declared for the NBA.

Maker didn’t really impress at the Hoop Summit, putting up just two points, although he did collect 10 rebounds.

Should the NBA rule in favour of Maker’s decision, many NBA pundits believe he will be in for a rough time adjusting.

Only time can tell if he actually needs college or not.

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