Australian NBA rising star Thon Maker is hoping that South Melbourne gets to be part of an expanded A-League so his brother Maker Maker achieves his childhood dream.
Maker, 19, is in his rookie year with the NBA's Bucks after the Sudanese-born refugee came from nowhere to be the 10th overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft.
This week the 2.16 m power forward showed a glimpse of his highly rated potential scoring five points and playing a career high 13-minutes in the 109-107 win against San Antonio Spurs.
Last year Thon’s brother Maker Maker, 17, played for South Melbourne’s youth team.
And if his younger sibling can play professionally then both their childhood dreams will be a reality.
“My half is done,” Thon said to Inside Sport after a recent win. “But he’s still working on his and I’m in his ear encouraging him whenever he calls me. I just hope he goes as high as he wants to go because he works really hard for it.”
Thon was hopeful that Maker could make it to the highest level of Australian football via South Melbourne being part of an expanded A-League competition.
“Definitely, he said. “I remember when we used to watch teams from the English Premier League play some of the teams in the A-League in exhibition games, those were really cool days and for him I just hopes he makes it.”
Thon is just one of several Australian based South Sudanese refugees that have taken up both basketball and football but after playing the round ball game initially, the teenager changed sports.
“I just kept on growing and then I met my basketball coach at the right time so then I had to switch over,” he said.
Even though he left football behind, Thon said that playing the world game at young age had benefited his basketball.
“Definitely, my stamina, footwork and just the quickness it just helped a big bunch,” he said.
Meanwhile Maker is still putting in the effort and is focused on completing his part of the deal.
“I need to keep getting better and work harder and I also need to put on a bit of weight as well,” he said. “I’m developing well we’ve got a good set up (at South Melbourne) and we are doing pretty well.”