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Thon Maker

CHICAGO -- Depending who you talk to, Thon Maker could be the next Kevin Durant or the next Pavel Podkolzin.

Durant, of course, is about to begin playing in the Western Conference Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder, while the 7-foot-4 Podkolzin became one of the biggest busts of all time after the Russian was chosen No. 21 by the Utah Jazz in 2004.

"[Maker] is Sidd Finch," one NBA executive told me at the NBA Draft Combine, referring to the fictional baseball player and subject of the famous Sports Illustrated article by George Plimpton.

Tags: Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Thon Maker is eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft.

"Thon is cleared," his guardian Ed Smith told SNY.tv.

The NBA had been investigating whether the 7-footer originally from the Sudan was eligible. Draft-eligible players need to be 19 and one year removed from high school graduation. Maker is spending a post-graduate year at Athlete Institute.

Tags: NBA Draft, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Arizona State's apparent loss is going to be some NBA team's gain come the June 23 NBA Draft.

On Sunday evening, 7-foot Sudanese big man (by way of Australia) Thon Maker announced his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft, assuming the league rules him draft-eligible. Maker is 19 and reportedly graduated from high school last June. Draft-eligible players need to be 19 and one year removed from high school graduation. Maker is spending a post-graduate year at Athlete Institute.

Maker made this announcement despite the fact that his guardian, Ed Smith, had repeatedly told SNY.tv and other media outlets over the past several years that Maker planned to go to college.

Tags: Josh Newman, NBA Draft, Thon Maker
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Thon Maker, the 7-footer from Athlete Institute in Ontario, will declare for the NBA Draft this summer, Bleacher Report's Adam Wells reported Sunday.

Maker, a native of the Sudan who grew up in Australia and has played high school basketball in the U.S. and Canada, had taken an official visit to Kansas and was considering Indiana, Notre Dame, St. John's and Arizona State. He was projected as the No. 29 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com and had been compared to Kevin Garnett and Kevin Durant. He is now listed as the No. 44 best prospect in 2016 by DraftExpress.com.

One NBA executive told SNY.tv that if Maker becomes eligible for this year's NBA Draft, he believes a team may take a flyer on him in the first round.

Tags: Recruiting, Thon Maker, Matt Eisenberg
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 (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

The World Select Team for the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit was announced on Thursday.

Featuring many of the best players in the world who are 19 years old or younger, the game will take place on April 9 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.

Among the players on the roster are Edin Atic (AEK Athens, Greece/Bosnia & Herzegovina), DeAndre Ayton (Hillcrest Academy, Ariz./Bahamas), Isaia Cordinier(Denain ASC Voltaire/France), Andres Feliz (West Oaks Academy, Fla./Dominican Republic),Harry Froling (Australian Institute of Sports/Australia), Justin Jackson (Hill Academy/Canada),Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep, Canada/Australia), Lauri Markkanen (HBA-Marsky Helsinki/Finland), William McDowell-White (Ignatius Park College/Australia), Wesley "Mogi" Silva (Paulistano/Unimed Sao Paolo/Brazil), Martynas Varnas (Zalgiris Kaunas II/Lithuania) and Ziming Fan (Foshan Long Lions/China).

Tags: DeAndre Ayton, Nike Hoop Summit, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Thon Maker has set three more official visits and is targeting a decision in late April, his guardian said Thursday night.

The 7-foot Maker out of Athlete Institute of Ontario, Canada will visit UNLV (March 18), Arizona State (April 18) and Notre Dame (April 25). He will meet with interim head coach Todd Simon and his staff on the UNLV visit.

Ed Smith, Maker's guardian, said the player will look to decide "after the Notre Dame visit."

Tags: Recruiting, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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For years now, Perry Ellis has been hearing the jokes that he's been at Kansas long enough to have played with Wilt Chamberlain or Danny Manning.

I've made a couple Wilt jokes myself on Twitter, and Ellis showed his sense of humor by rolling with the punches.

"Since I supposedly have unlimited eligibility why don't I just come back next year?" Ellis joked on Senior Day after his final home game at Allen Fieldhouse, an 85-78 victory over Iowa State in which Ellis went for 22 points and 7 rebounds.

Tags: Brandon Randolph, Mohamed Bamba, Recruiting, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Josh Jackson, the top uncommitted recruit in the Class of 2016 and the projected No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, will take his final official visit to Michigan State this weekend, according to his AAU team.

The No. 2-ranked Spartans host Ohio State at noon on Saturday for Senior Day.

The 6-foot-7 Jackson, now playing at Prolific Prep (CA), has already taken officials to Kansas and Arizona.

Tags: Bam Adebayo, Josh Jackson, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Two of the biggest names in the Class of 2016 are planning to make decisions in the coming weeks.

Thon Maker and Marques Bolden, two uncommitted big men, could decide sometime in April.

"I have my first official visit ever and this one is to Kansas [March 5] and then after that I'll take a few more visits and then the decision will be ready right after March so that will be in April," the 7-foot Maker told Northpolehoops.com.

Tags: Marques Bolden, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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 (Kelly Kline / Under Armour)
(Kelly Kline / Under Armour)

After weeks of speculation that it might happen, Terrance Ferguson officially decommitted from Alabama on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-7 Ferguson initially committed to Alabama on Aug. 17 after also considering Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, and North Carolina, among others.

"He's opening back up his recruitment just based off of him losing his grandmother a month ago," Advanced Prep International coach Ray Forsett told Scout.com. "He wants to make the right decision. He's very much still interested in going to Alabama, but he wants to pray about it and make sure he's making the right decision."

Tags: Recruiting, Terrance Ferguson, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Thon Maker will take his first official visit to No. 1-ranked Kansas on Saturday for the Senior Night festivities against Iowa State, his guardian Ed Smith told SNY.tv.

"Thon really wanted to see one of the college games, the atmosphere," Smith said by phone from Canada. "We've been there once, but seeing Iowa State is a whole different ballgame."

The 7-foot Maker, currently at Athlete Institute in Ontario, is also considering Arizona State, Notre Dame, Indiana, St. John's and UNLV but no other officials have been set.

Tags: Kansas, Recruiting, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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After meeting Monday with Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and St. John's assistant Barry "Slice" Rohrssen, 7-footer Thon Maker is planning to take officials to both schools although no dates have yet been finalized.

"It went well with Mike," Ed Smith, Maker's guardian, said of Brey. "He had a chance to watch a lot of Thon. He said he really wanted to get him to college and help him become more efficient in what he's doing so he's not floating as much. He has some things to help him with that, and they really think it's going to be a lot of fun and they could be really a top team next year.

"It all depends on Demetrius Jackson, so that is something that's big for them.

Tags: Recruiting, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and St John's assistant Barry "Slice" Rohrssen visited with Thon Maker on Monday, his guardian Ed Smith told SNY.tv.

The 7-foot Maker is also considering Arizona State, Indiana, Kansas, and UNLV.

As first reported by SNY.tv, St. John's jumped into the Thon Maker Sweepstakes in September when Rohrssen visited Maker at Athlete Institute. Rohrssen was familiar with Maker and Smith dating to his time on John Calipari's staff at Kentucky.

Tags: Notre Dame, Recruiting, St. John's, Thon Maker
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On top of getting a key Big 12 win over Texas on Saturday, Kansas also hosted two likely pros on the recruiting front in Josh Jackson and DeAndre Ayton.

The 6-foot-8 Jackson out of Prolific Prep (CA) is the No. 1-rated prospect in the Class of 2016 according to 247Sports.com and is the projected No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.

Jackson's mother, Apples Jones, played college ball at Allen County Community College in Iola, Kansas, and Kansas head coach Bill Self watched Jackson at the Marshall County Hoopfest in December.

Tags: DeAndre Ayton, Josh Jackson, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Thon Maker and his guardian Ed Smith were impressed with the NBA experience on the St. John's coaching staff, and are strongly coming back for an unofficial visit following their unofficial this week.

The 7-foot Maker is due to take the SAT on Saturday, and will plan official visits following that.

He is also considering Arizona State, Indiana, Kansas, Notre Dame and UNLV.

Tags: Recruiting, St. John's, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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Team EZ Pass' Thon Maker #21 warms up against Team Doo Be Doo in the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday, August 22, 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) (AP)
Team EZ Pass' Thon Maker #21 warms up against Team Doo Be Doo in the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday, August 22, 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) (AP)

Thon Maker is taking an unofficial visit to St. John's Tuesday-Wednesday, his guardian Ed Smith told SNY.tv.

The 7-footer Maker had planned to visit the Queens school around New York's Eve during his trip to New York for the Grind Session but the holiday traffic thwarted his visit.

"It's a beautiful city, all these buildings, everything New York has to offer, I just love it," Maker told SNY.tv that day before he scored 12 points in Athlete Institute's 66-51 loss to St. Patrick's as part of The Grind Session's Gotham Showcase. "Downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, looking at the art, it's just beautiful. The fact they play in Madison Square Garden is crazy to me."

Tags: Recruiting, St. John's, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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North Carolina coach Roy Williams got a jump on the Class of 2018 by landing point guard Rechon Black on Friday. (John Rieger / USA Today)
North Carolina coach Roy Williams got a jump on the Class of 2018 by landing point guard Rechon Black on Friday. (John Rieger / USA Today)

North Carolina got a jump on the Class of 2018 on Friday night when they landed a pledge from Rechon "Leaky" Black, a 6-foot-7 point guard from Concord (N.C.).

"I feel like it's the best fit for me and my family," Black told the Charlotte Observer. "(UNC coach) Roy (Williams) said he was going to let me play point guard when I got up there, so I feel like I can do my best up there."

Tags: High School Transfers, Recruiting, St. John's, Thon Maker, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Thon Maker's visit to St. John's was thwarted by New Year's Eve traffic in New York last week, but the 7-footer is still hoping to get to the Queens campus, as well as the other schools on his list.

"I spoke to [Red Storm coach] Chris Mullin [Tuesday] night, which is good, we touched base," Ed Smith, Maker's guardian, said Wednesday on The 4 Quarters Podcast. "We're trying to find a period of time that we can get there."

The Class of 2016 big man from Athlete Institute in Ontario is focusing on visiting all five schools on his list -- St. John's, Arizona State, Kansas, Indiana and Notre Dame.

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Adam Zagoria and Josh Newman are back in 2016 with a new year of The 4 Quarters Podcast, covering college hoops, recruiting, and the NBA for SNY.tv. 

First up, ESPN's Jeff Goodman comes back to the show to talk Ben Simmons, Kentucky, College POY, and potential Tournament teams. Then, Thon Maker's guardian Ed Smith calls in to shine some light on Maker's recruitment and what comes next. 

Later, Adam and Josh take on some early Bracketology, while also highlighting some of the early storylines from the college hoops season - including Syracuse, SMU, and Monmouth. The show wraps up with a recruiting round up including updates on Rawle Alkins and DeAndre Ayton.

Tags: 4 Quarters Podcast, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria, Josh Newman
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Mike Rice is now 5-1 as the interim coach at New Jersey powerhouse The Patrick School Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Rice is now 5-1 as the interim coach at New Jersey powerhouse The Patrick School Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK -- The Patrick School continued its early-season roll by scoring a decisive 66-51 victory over Thon Maker's Athlete Institute squad to kick off The Grind Session at Baruch College on New Year's Eve Day.

Despite an hour delay because Athlete Institute did not have their uniforms ready, The Patrick School did not waste any time displaying their trademark defensive intensity forcing turnovers on the first three possessions.

"I think that's who this team is," said interim head coach Mike Rice, whose record is now 5-1 as the clock turns to 2016. "They love competing and their instincts now are competing for one another. It's one thing to compete and enjoy it its another to compete when you love to do it together for your teammates."

Tags: Sean Moran, St. Patrick's, Thon Maker
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NEW YORK - News broke Thursday morning that uncommitted five-star big man Thon Maker was supposed to be attending the Creighton-St. John's game after his Athlete Institute squad took on The Patrick School at Baruch College.

But New York traffic on New Year's Eve ended up putting a kibosh on that plan.


 (Kelly Kline / Under Armour)
(Kelly Kline / Under Armour)

Thon Maker says five schools are recruiting him the hardest.

But he may not make a decision until this spring or summer.

"I have five schools that are recruiting the hardest," the 7-footer wrote on his FoxSports.com blog. "They are: Arizona State, Kansas, Indiana, Notre Dame, and St. Johns.

Tags: Kentucky, Naz Reid, Recruiting, Roselle Catholic, St. Benedict's Prep, St. John's, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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ATLANTA, GA - July 16, 2015: The Under Armour Association Finals at Suwanee Sports Academy in Suwanee, Georgia. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline)
ATLANTA, GA - July 16, 2015: The Under Armour Association Finals at Suwanee Sports Academy in Suwanee, Georgia. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline)

BENTON, Ky. - Thon Maker was born in the Sudan, grew up in Australia and has attended high schools in the United States and now Canada at Athlete Institute.

His guardian, Ed Smith, is already anticipating potential eligiblity issues ahead with the NCAA.

"There is never going to be a 'Free Thon Maker' sign," Smith said at the Marshall County Hoopfest where Kansas coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend watched Maker go for 18 points, 17 rebounds, 8 turnovers and 2 assists as Oak Hill Academy (VA) beat Athlete Institute (Ontario), 74-57, Saturday night.

Tags: NBA Draft, Recruiting, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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 (Kelly Kline / Under Armour)
(Kelly Kline / Under Armour)

BENTON, Ky. - For Josh Jackson, the thought of not committing to home state school Michigan State is difficult.

"It would be real hard," the projected No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Napa (CA) Prolific Prep said Friday night at the Marshall County Hoopfest.

Sparty, the 247Sports CrystalBall current leader, improved their chances to land the coveted wing with the addition of one of Jackson's best friends, Miles Bridges.

Tags: DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, NBA Draft, Recruiting, Thon Maker, Trevon Duval, Adam Zagoria
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Thon Maker has set his first official visit for Arizona State in late January, his guardian told Scout.com.

"We are looking to visit Arizona State for their game against Oregon," Ed Smith told Scout. "We play against Prolific in Napa and we'll go from there and visit Arizona State at that time. I think that's around the 29th."

On Thursday, Maker listed Arizona State, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Notre Dame and St. John's as the schools recruiting him the hardest.

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Thon Maker visited Kansas on Friday night and then played in front of Jayhawks head coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend this weekend.

The 7-footer from Orangeville Prep in Ontario (Canada) sat behind the Kansas bench Friday for their home opener, a 109-72 win over Northern Colorado.

"Thon does want to do an official to Kansas," his guardian, Ed Smith, told SNY.tv. "He was at their home opener unofficially."

Tags: Bill Self, Thon Maker, University of Kansas, Adam Zagoria
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Thon Maker will choose a college in the spring and is planning official visits to two schools at this point, Ed Smith, Maker's guardian, told SNY.tv on Thursday.

The 7-foot Maker will take officials to Arizona State and Notre Dame, Smith said.

Indiana and St. John's are among the other schools involved, but officials to those schools aren't definite.

Tags: Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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By CHIP MILLER

BENTON, Ky. -- Fresh off back-to-back visits to Kentucky and Louisville,?Thon Maker?appears to be on the brink of?reclassifying to the Class of 2015, which could have a profound impact on the 2016 NBA Draft.

"I'll know that by the end of this semester," the 7-foot center from Ontario's?Orangeville Prep said?at the Marshall County Hoop Fest. "It should be around there, so I?ll know where I stand in terms of academics."

Tags: Articles, Kentucky, Louisville, Marshall County, Oregon, Recruiting, Thon Maker, Adam Zagoria
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