Bucks rookie Thon Maker denies rumors about being older than 19
Questions about his age didn't stop him from getting selected 10th in the draft
The biggest surprise of draft night was certainly the selection of Thon Maker. The loophole preps-to-pros draftee was projected to go somewhere in the 20s or even into the early second round of the draft. Instead, the Milwaukee Bucks selected him at No. 10. There were rumors throughout draft day that a team could reach on Maker much earlier than anybody was expecting. However, those weren't the only rumors about him.
Heading into the draft, reports started getting kicked around that Maker may be well into his 20s, rather than the 19-year-old he says he is. That concern obviously didn't trouble the Bucks, who were happy to make him a part of their future. As for Maker himself, he says the rumors of his age are just that -- rumors. From Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
Maker denies that he is older than 19, although he has heard plenty of assertions.
"It did get to me in terms of me hearing about it, but it didn't get to me personally because if it were true, I'd probably be like sideways about it, but it's not true, so I'm comfortable," he said. "I'm not angry or anything. I've got to learn what I can say and what I can't say now."
He's right; there little more to say here. We've actually gone through this a few times with African-born draft prospects. The same things came out against Serge Ibaka before he ended up on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bismack Biyombo faced the same reports before he ended up on the Charlotte Bobcats after a draft night trade was completed. Now it's Thon Maker's turn to deal with these rumors and accusations to make him the NBA version of Danny Almonte.
Back when Shabazz Muhammad went from dominating high school ball to being a wing on UCLA, it was discovered that he was a year older than had been claimed previously. It hasn't hurt his NBA career at all, even if it may have dropped him from being a top 10 pick in 2013 to being selected 14th by the Utah Jazz to complete a trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now Maker just has to concentrate on his pro career and keep in mind that those questions didn't stop the Bucks from believing.
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