At the age of 16, Chol Marial is longer than every player in the NBA
HE’S 16-years-old, 2.18m tall and already the most intriguing prospect heading to the NBA.
Teenage sensation Chol Marial is one of the most famous high school basketballers in the United States and already being spruiked as a first round draft pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
It doesn’t stop there.
He hasn’t even stopped growing yet.
Studying at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut, the year nine student is a scary talent.
Even more frightening than his talent or height is an outrageous wingspan that is already longer than any player in the NBA right now.
Marial’s finger-to-finger outstretched reach could hit 8-feet by the time he stops growing. That wingspan is already 2.41m (7’11’’
It’s only a matter of time before he is dominating the paint in the NBA — despite the clear need to build some muscles on top of his spindly 93kg frame.
Before that he has to think about his college basketball career — before he is eligible to nominate for the NBA draft a year out of high school.
Colleges are already lining up.
The flood of offers coming in is only going to intensify, according to Marial’s high school coach Kevin Kehoe.
The Cheshire Academy mentor recently compared Marial with four-time NBA All-Star and No. 1 pick of the 1983 NBA Draft Ralph Sampson — a freak centre stretching 2.24m.
Kehoe says Marial will be a first round selection from the class of 2019.
“When I first watched a video of Chol, I was trying to draw comparisons,” Kehoe told myrecordjournal.com.
“I was thinking about what kid I could compare him to, as far as college prospects. There have been a lot of 7-foot kids. The only one I could draw on was Ralph Sampson because of the way the kid ran the floor and moved.
“What it boils down to is Chol’s got the gifts of a Sampson, of people well beyond the average NBA player. I think the bottom line is he has a ceiling to become one of the top NBA players to play in his era.
“Usually, the great athletes don’t have best work ethic. Sometimes those with a great work ethic are not the best athletes. He’s got both.
“The other thing is he’s a sponge. You show him a move and he immediately can do it. It’s almost eerie.
“You show him a reverse pivot, whip to baseline and go to middle of the floor. Show him once and he has it down. He has an extremely high IQ and the fact is he’s one of most competitive kids I’ve ever been around.”
He has only been playing ball for four years.
Marial is actually a football (soccer) player.
A native of South Sudan, he grew up playing football.
“I started playing basketball in 2013,” Chol said.
“I was playing soccer since I was five. In Sudan, the soccer is famous. They don’t play basketball a lot, but it’s coming. There are a lot of tall people there, but they like to play soccer.”
Marial was recruited straight out of Sudan to study and play basketball for West Oaks Academy in Orlando and travelled to the United States last year.
His eventual move to Cheshire was all about finding a school that focused on his education.
It’s that holistic approach that makes him such a well-liked person around his school and such an attractive recruit for college programs.
It’s only a matter of time before those college recruiters become NBA scouts.
Until then, Marial has to focus on three more years of high school.
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