The Milwaukee Bucks have selected Thon Maker with the No.10 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, in the wake of a controversy over the 216cm Australian’s age.
Maker follows in the footsteps of fellow Australia 7-footer, Andrew Bogut, who was drafted to the Bucks with the first overall pick in 2005.
The 19-year-old was a projected late first round pick, but shut down the majority of mock drafts by being taken with the 10th pick.
Maker was born in South Sudan, before moving to Perth and Sydney, ultimately ending up in North America. After attending a flurry of schools in the United States, Thon Maker – and his brother, Matur – landed at Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Canada.
An old controversy blew up in the hours before the draft, with a US report claiming Maker had dropped off a number of teams’ draft boards due to them believing he was actually anywhere from 21-24 years-old. The concerns did not dissuade Milwaukee, one of the teams to work out Maker pre-draft.
He is the fourth player from South Sudan drafted into NBA, joining Deng Gai, Luol Deng and the late Manute Bol.