Thon Maker talks recruitment, reclassification 'not 100%'

Thon Maker, the 7'1 centre out of Sudan, by way of Sydney, Australia, was at the La Lu Classic this weekend - with his Orangeville Prep squad going 1-2 at the tournament. We managed to catch up with Maker to talk recruitment, reclassification, and his next visit to Australia.

Thon Maker | Photo credit: adidas

Orangeville Prep has struggled against US teams throughout the season, and it showed in this tournament - with the squad only going 1-2 over 3 days. Maker averaged 15.6 ppg and 6.3 rpg throughout the 3 games, held at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana.

When asked what his goals were for the rest of this year, Maker emphasised both basketball and academics as priorities.

Lately it's been working on my body and hitting the weight room. And then academically, basically trying to finish off my credits. Then with basketball - on the court - playing with pace and finding my spots.

Maker announced earlier in the week that he's on track to graduate in 2015, a decision that was expected. He talked about what his timeline will look like for the first half of this year, and how tough the reclassification process is.

It's very tough but it's doable. I'm still pushing for [2015], then at the same time I'm getting the support from teachers and my teammates - they're helping me stay focused so I can get the whole thing finished.

[Graduation] might lean toward June, but I'm trying to push for [2015] and get it done as soon as I can but also knowing that I can still either stay [in 2016] or go. I'm looking forward to pushing toward 2015.

I'm on track to graduate this year but a lot of hard work ahead this summer! No shortcuts on this road to success. #built4this

— Thon Maker ™ (@ThonMaker14) February 18, 2015

The tweet Maker sent out earlier in the week was rather ambiguous, not completely closing the door on him remaining in the Class of 2016. Maker was asked whether reclassifying to 2015 was a certainty.

"It's not 100%"

Thon Maker - Courtesy adidas

Thon Maker - Courtesy adidas

Maker mentioned Kentucky and Kansas as 2 of the programs that have been recruiting him the heaviest.

I visited Kentucky previously, I got to see their coaching and see them as a unit from the sideline. Also I spoke with Coach [Calipari] and he told me how he showed interest in recruiting me. And as a program I've been watching them for a little bit so I know much about them.

I [visited Kansas] in the Summer, I got to visit them a little bit and got to watch some tape of the [Morris] twins. I also got to see their weight room facility and how they work, they have a pretty good setup also. That was a good visit. I also sat down with Coach [Bill] Self and that was a great conversation that we had, that was a comfortable visit also.

There has been speculation that Maker may forego college and opt to play overseas for a year before declaring for the NBA Draft. Although it still remains a strong possibility, that's something Maker isn't thinking about at the moment.

Right now it's really just trying to finish my credits and the next step is college but really, as soon as I finish my credits, I'll make the decision.

I managed to speak with Ed Smith earlier in the day, with Smith mentioning that the Maker brothers were planning to visit Sydney, Australia in a few months. Thon hasn't been back to Sydney since 2013 so it's something he's looking forward to, especially to get away from the intense Canadian winter.

I'm pretty excited. I go back every now and then, it's always a nice place to go back to. 2013 was the last time I went back.

I met with Ed Smith, Thon Maker's guardian, this morning. He assured me Thon is still 100% committed to playing for Australia

— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) February 22, 2015