The Thon Maker saga may have finally reached its conclusion with the latest information concerning his age.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick has had his age questioned even before the draft, and the scrutiny only got worse after various photos and videos appeared online of an old yearbook from Australia and a high school newsletter that suggested he was several years older than his listed age of 19. For a moment there it seemed Canada had yet another scandal on its hands involving a man much older than his teammates playing high school basketball.
Well, Maker finally has some evidence in his favor as a photo of his old passport from 2009 has surfaced. Note the birthdate just below his name.
The photo comes from Sky Smith, an assistant coach at Athlete Institute Prep, where Maker played in Canada. Smith later defended his former player on Twitter, writing “he IS 19 years old. I work with thon & was provided access to his documents.” Maybe the most important tidbit is the issued date of the passport, back in 2009, which predates the involvement of eventual guardian Edward Smith in Maker’s life. It’s Smith who has been most implicated in the age rumors, but he reportedly wasn’t involved with the long-limbed prodigy until 2011.
The issues with Maker’s age are clear: If he was older than his reported age not only would he have forged his entire reputation against middle school and high school aged teenagers while he was an adult, but it also would make his development window with the Bucks significantly smaller. This should just about end this odd journey for Maker and allow him to focus on his first NBA season.