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Thon Maker.

Milwaukee Bucks' Thon Maker addresses speculation over his age

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The Milwaukee Bucks shocked many onlookers at the NBA Draft as they picked Sudanese-born big man Thon Maker with the 10th pick at the Barclays Center.

The Australian national is the first prep-to-pro player to be selected in the first round since 2005 after he proved to the association that he had graduated from high school in July 2015 and stayed an extra year as a postgraduate student through his own will.

After the NBA were satisfied he was eligible, it came as a surprise to see the Eastern Conference franchise take him so early into the night, especially after they had splashed a lot of money on Gregg Monroe less than 12 months prior.

However, on draft night, there appeared to be a bigger issue than where the 7'1" teenager would fit into the roster at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The main question on the lips of spectators was his age; there was a lot of speculation about the legitimacy of his claim to be a teenager.

However, while the latest member of the Bucks family admits he heard the rumours, he ensured the Boston Globe that the talk had not affected him mentally and that it most definitely was not true.

"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."

2016 NBA Draft

Milwaukee have one of the most exciting young rosters in the league and, while it is difficult to see where Maker fits in, it is clear to see the unorthodox center has the ability to ask questions of many opponents in the paint.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo patrolling the point next season, along with a supporting cast of Jabari Parker, Michael Carter-Williams, Khris Middleton and Monroe - the future certainly looks bright for the organisation that won their one and only championship in 1971.

Maker's journey to the NBA is complete. It is now time for the youngster to make the next step and establish himself as a starting player. However, having come this far, the Orangeville Prep graduate could not hold back his happiness.

2016 NBA Draft

"It was five years (ago) when I decided I first wanted to be a pro and take basketball serious," Maker said. “So it’s been a long time because I’ve put in a lot of games, a lot of work, and to finally see it pay off, really , I lost words. When I was walking there, trying to say 'thank you' to my family, just took lots of words, and I speak with them every day. It was a different situation. Mentally, you just can’t wait. Physically, you’re trying to control yourself, and at the same time it’s unreal."

Topics:
NBA Draft
NBA
Milwaukee Bucks
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Khris Middleton
Giannis Antetokounmpo

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