CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Class of 2016 is represented by only a handful of prospects at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, but with Thon Maker in attendance at John Paul Jones Arena, its presence is not going unnoticed.
A 16-year-old with a 7-foot frame, Maker is grabbing attention with his mobility and advanced scoring ability around the basket. And while he is one of the youngest prospects at the camp, that is not stopping him from competing to be the best.
"I've got to come in here with these older guys," Maker said. "I mean they're some of the top (players) in the country, so we have to let them know that we are back here and we are gunning for your spot. So watch out."
Even with such strong statements from the sophomore-to-be, Maker suggests he does not have anything to prove to his peers. Instead, he is at the Top 100 Camp only to improve his game.
A native of Sudan, Maker went through an adjustment period when he first got to the United States. Learning the ropes of western culture -- both on and off the court -- came easier than he originally expected.
"I'm getting used to it," Maker said. "The level of competition was hard at first so I had to adjust, but so far I'm on the right track."
Maker is among the top rebounders thus far at the camp, grabbing 19 boards through the first three games. He is now shifting his focus to the offensive end of the floor where he models his game after two NBA superstars.
"I look at players like Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett," Maker said. "I'm playing my game in their areas, where they catch the ball, where they are touching the ball. I pay attention to how much time they get off the ball."
As a student of the game, Maker is focused solely on improving, rather than getting into the hype of being a potential top-five player in his class when the rankings are released.
He also has very little interest in the recruiting process right now, but Maker did mention Kentucky's style of play as something he enjoys watching in college basketball.
"I like their tempo. You get to run," Maker said. "I like what they are doing in terms of producing pros, so I definitely look at that. And when it comes to colleges I look at the coaching staffs, and how they play basically, so I like (Kentucky)."
Maker will almost certainly be on Kentucky's radar as the coaching staff begins to concentrate on the rising sophomore class. It is evident that there will be a mutual interest whenever UK head coach John Calipari comes calling.
Meet Your Maker
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