LAS VEGAS -- When Thon Maker arrived on the AAU circuit, it didn't take long for fans and college coaches alike to learn his name. He picked up tons of interest immediately, and that has only continued to grow into the summer.
For Matur Maker, the transition to AAU ball wasn't nearly as easy. Matur, Thon's younger brother, has been playing up with Thon's Team Loaded Virginia team since the AAU season began in the spring, and it has taken him time to learn to play against the older players.
But Matur, who is 6-foot-10 and already owns an Indiana offer, has stayed committed to the steady climb and has continued to work. And it shows.
I watched him play back in May, and while I was impressed with his length, athleticism and speed, I felt he had a long way to go in some other areas. And he still does. But Matur Maker is quickly making progress.
He's playing up two classes -- Team Loaded is playing in the 17U division at this week's adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas -- but Matur still starts, and he still figures out ways to affect games.
Matur Maker had six points and six rebounds in Wednesday night's comeback win over Stackhouse Elite.
"A lot of people are sleeping on him because he's younger," Ed Smith, Thon and Matur's guardian, told AllHoosiers.com. "He was disappointed he didn't get an invitation to adidas Nations. But if he's playing his age group ... We played him down in one of the tournaments and he had like 18, 12 and seven in almost a half.
"If we play him with his age group, you'll see where the star power is."
In Wednesday night's game, Matur Maker was involved in a scuffle with a player from Stackhouse Elite and was called for a technical foul. Stackhouse Elite initially used the scuffle for momentum and took a big lead, but Team Loaded responded.
"He shows toughness. I don't mind that on the floor," Smith said. "If he's young, sometimes you gotta go do that. People are not just gonna lay their hands on you and do those types of things. He showed some elements of toughness. I just need him to get smart with it. How do you get him to be smart? Just play on."