Thon Maker’s Failed NBA Journey, Early Life, Net Worth & Other Leagues

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Thon Marial Maker is a South Sudanese-Australian professional basketball player who plays for the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Maker also played in the NBA after he was drafted as the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He played for teams like Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, and Cleveland Cavaliers during his NBA career.

In 2022, he signed with the Long Island Nets, the NBA G League affiliate team of the Brooklyn Nets.

Thon attended high school in Canada and the USA, even though Thon was an immigrant in Australia from South Sudan.

Quite oddly, he declared for the NBA draft without joining the college. His performance throughout high school was extraordinary, and most basketball recruiting services considered him a five-star recruit.

Consequently, the Milwaukee Bucks picked him in the 2016 NBA draft.

Thon Maker During His Time With The Milwaukee Bucks
Thon Maker During His Time With The Milwaukee Bucks (Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

NBA fans and enthusiasts had high expectations when he entered the NBA. However, Thon could not maintain his reputation when he started playing in the world’s toughest basketball league.

His performance during his time in the NBA was very miserable and there was not a single season in which he showboated a praiseworthy game.

He last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2020 and the Long Island Nets of the G League in 2022; his fans have high hopes for him, and they still believe that he can redeem himself and make a comeback in the NBA.

Today, we will explore Maker’s early life, his NBA career, his net worth, and almost everything about him that matters.

But before moving into the details, here are some quick facts about Thon Maker.

Quick Facts

Full Name Thon Marial Maker
Full Name Thon Maker
Date of Birth February 25, 1997
Birth Place Wau, South Sudan
Nick Name Not available
Religion Unknown
Nationality South Sudanese/Australian
Tribe Dinka
Zodiac Sign  Pisces
Age 27 Years Old
Height 7’0″/2.13 m/213 cm
Weight 100 kg/221 lb.
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Black
Build Athletic
Father’s Name Not available
Mother’s Name Not available
Siblings Two brothers and a sister
Siblings’ Name Matur Maker, Maker Maker, and Ajak Maker
  • Orangeville District Secondary School (Orangeville, Ontario)
  • Metairie Park Country Day school (Metairie, Louisiana)
  • Carlisle School (Martinsville, Virginia)
Marital Status Unmarried
Girlfriend None
Sexual Orientation straight
Food Habit Non-vegetarian
Profession Professional basketball player
NBA Draft 2016
Position Center/Power forward
  • NBA 
  • Israeli Basketball Premier League
  • NBA G League
  • Chinese Basketball Association
Active Years (2016–present)
Net Worth $1-$5 million
Currently Plays For Fujian Sturgeons
Jersey Number (Recent) 2
Career Highlights & Awards
  • Gatorade Virginia Player of The Year (2014)
  • National Basketball Player’s Association Top 100 camp MVP (2015)
Social Media  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
Merch Cards
Last Update July 2024

Early Life, Family & Career

On February 25, 1997, Thon Maker was born in Wau, South Sudan. His parents’ details are currently unavailable, but what’s known is that they belonged to the Dinka community.

A violent civil war was going on in his country when Thon was born and it was very tough even to survive.

Eventually, his government employee uncle arranged for him and his family to escape to Uganda.

After briefly staying in Uganda, Thon and his family members migrated to Australia. He attended a local school in Perth.

The professional basketball player grew up playing with his brothers and cousins. He mainly played soccer as a kid. 

Thon (Center) With His Brother, Matur, And His Cousin, Makur
Thon (Center) With His Brother, Matur, And His Cousin, Makur (Source: Vecamspot)

Thon and his brothers were taller than the average children, giving them more advantage in all the sports they played.

Fortunately, Edward Smith, a basketball coach and talent hunter noticed young Thon when he was playing with local kids in Perth.

Smith offered his aunt to take Maker to Sydney to practice basketball. After getting approval from his aunt, Thon began playing St. John Basketball Association in Sydney.

In 2011, both Smith and Maker went to the USA to attend a basketball camp in Texas.

Thon was already a skillful player when he first visited the USA. With Edward’s persuasion, he decided to enroll in the Carlisle High School in Virginia and continue his studies alongside his basketball career.

Besides, his brother, Matur, and cousin, Makur, are also professional basketball players, while his other brother, Maker, is a soccer player.

Moreover, the power forward also has a sister named Ajak.


High School Career

Maker never dreamt of attending high school in the USA but realized it would benefit his basketball career.

Playing basketball for the high school team in the USA would provide him the exposure and make it easier for him to get into the NBA.

Thon attended two different schools in Louisiana before enrolling at Carlisle school in Virginia. His mentor, Edward Smith, greatly contributed to getting admission there.

He played for only two years for the Carlisle school’s team, but he had remarkable records in both seasons. He was great in every aspect, most notably in scoring, rebounding, and blocking.

In his two seasons with the Carlisle basketball team, he averaged 22.2 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game. Thon even secured the Gatorade Virginia Best Player of the Year.

However, he decided to abandon the rest of the seasons at Carlisle and joined the Athlete Institute in Ontario, Canada, where Edward Smith was serving as the assistant coach.

Maker Playing For the Athlete Institute
Maker Playing For the Athlete Institute (Source: USA TODAY High School Sports)

He continued his impressive performance and participated in the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit in Portland Oregon, after he decided to reclassify into the 2015 class.

However, Thon remained in the Class of 2016 and got offers from Arizona State, Florida State, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Notre Dame, St. John’s, and UNLV.

After bagging the MVP honor at the National Basketball Player’s Association Top 100 camp, Maker declared his intentions to enter the 2016 NBA draft on April 3, 2016.

Professional Career

The Milwaukee Bucks picked him with the 10th pick overall in the 2016 NBA draft. With this, Maker became the first player to get drafted into the NBA after the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement was issued.

He initially made a good impression on spectators by playing exceptionally for the Bucks in the NBA Summer League. However, it all watered down when he began playing regular NBA season.

Although he performed better in some matches, his overall performance in the rookie season was a disaster. He averaged just 4.0 points per game in his first season and was allowed very little playtime.

The power forward played one and a half seasons with the Bucks after his rookie season but showed no sign of improvement. Even though the team management allowed him more minutes in the second season, he failed.

Maker in the Detroit Pistons jersey
Maker in the Detroit Pistons jersey (Source: numberFire)

The Bucks traded him to the Detroit Pistons mid-way through the 2018-19 season. He played around 29 matches for the Pistons that season. Even though he gave his career-best performance, it was hardly impressive.

He played two more seasons in the NBA with Pistons and Cavaliers one season each, before joining the Israeli Basketball Premier League.


On August 25, 2021, Maker signed a deal with Hapoel Jerusalem. However, he parted ways with the team on December 12, averaging 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

The Long Island Nets, the Brooklyn Nets G League affiliate team, acquired him via available player pool on January 21, 2022.

Later, on July 28, 2022, the power forward joined the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Apart from the league games, Thon has appeared in a few international tournaments for the Australian national basketball team.

Thon Maker In Action For His National Team
Thon Maker In Action For His National Team (Source: Fox Sports)

He made his debut for the Australian national team in the FIBA World Cup qualifier against Japan on June 29, 2018.

He even got suspended for three games after his involvement in the Philippines-Australia basketball brawl during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualification.

Maker was able to bag gold with his national team in the FIBA Asia Cup in 2022.

Awards & Achievements

Thon had a great start when he started his basketball career. He won some significant awards during his high school year. However, he could not perform well in the best basketball league in the world.

Some of his very few achievements are:

  • Gatorade Virginia Player of The Year (2014)
  • National Basketball Player’s Association Top 100 camp MVP (2015)

Net Worth, Salary & Career Earnings

According to various sources on the internet, Thon Maker has a net worth of around $1-$5 million.

Maker’s main source of earnings is his professional basketball career. However, he could not earn as much as he had initially hoped for, as his NBA career was not a success.

He received a good amount in his rookie season when he joined the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2016-17 season. The club had paid him around $2.5 million that season. For his second season with the Bucks, he received somewhat similar sum.

The power forward received around $4.3 million for his one-and-a-half seasons with the Detroit Pistons.

Throughout his NBA career, he garnered a total of around $11 million.

Currently, he is not playing in the NBA and is affiliated with Fujian Sturgeons, but he is earning a decent amount with his current team.

Personal Life

The tall and charming young athlete is not in a relationship with any woman. Moreover, he is never known to be in a relationship in his life.

Thon is trying his best to regain his form back and wishes to have less distraction. His main focus at present is improving his game and bouncing back to the NBA.

Anyways, Maker has always been a mysterious guy. Coming from a small tribal community in South Sudan, he has not even disclosed his parents’ names.

So, it may take some time before we get to know more about his personal life. We will surely let you know once we find out the related details.

Age, Weight & Height

As of 2024, Thon is 27 years of age and celebrates his birthday every year on February 25.

He stands 7 feet (2.13 meters) tall and weighs around 100 kg (221 pounds).

Thon Maker, The Professional Basketball Player
Thon Maker, The Professional Basketball Player (Source: Instagram)

Both his parents are reportedly over 6 feet in height, so he may have inherited his tall stature from his parents.

He has black hair and gleaming black eyes.

Social Media Presence

Thon Maker is found using different social media platforms. He regularly posts pictures of him during his games, vacations, and sometimes he just posts casual pictures.

Likewise, he updates his fans about team announcements and some important league notices through his tweets on Twitter.

Maker also has a Facebook account but has not uploaded anything since September last year.

Instagram: 139k followers (@thonmaker)

Twitter: 45.3k followers (@ThonMaker14)

Facebook: 85k followers (@Thon Maker)


Despite failing to perform in the NBA, he has gained few fans from all around the world.

Thon Maker's Popularity Graph
Thon Maker’s Popularity Graph (Source: Google Trends)

The above graph gives brief information about the popularity of Thon Maker based on Google searches in the United States over the year.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Thon Maker still in the NBA?

No, Thon Maker no in the NBA. But, in 2022, he was affiliated with the NBA G League team Long Island Nets. He previously played in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Is Makur Maker Thon Maker's brother?

Yes, Makur Maker is Thon Maker's brother but not his own brother. Actually, they are cousins and were both trained by the same coach, Edward Smith. Thon's cousin, Makur, has six brothers and a sister.

Yaman Bhattarai
Yaman Bhattarai

Yaman Bhattarai

Yaman Bhattarai is a dedicated writer with a keen interest in exploring the multifaceted world of sports. His articles offer readers a dynamic blend of insightful analysis, captivating storytelling, and cultural commentary that enriches their understanding of the athletes, events, and trends that shape the sporting landscape.


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  • Yaman delves into the rich tapestry of sports history, uncovering iconic moments, legendary athletes, and transformative events.
  • He examines the business side of sports, exploring topics such as sponsorship deals.


With a background in writing and a passion for sports as a cultural phenomenon, Yaman approaches each article with a blend of curiosity, rigor, and creativity. He seeks to inspire, educate, and entertain readers through his exploration of the timeless themes and enduring legacies that define the world of sports.

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