Corrections & Clarifications: The article originally misstated Makur Maker’s age. He is 18. It also stated he had been ruled ineligible by the CIF-SS. While the Orange Lutheran coach presented a hypothetical situation to the CIF about Maker’s status, according to the CIF, he was never officially ruled ineligible.
Makur Maker is unquestionably one of the most fascinating rising senior athletes in the country. Already 18, the cousin of Pistons forward Thon Maker has his relative’s 6-foot-11 height and freakish wingspan, not to mention his remarkable ball handling skills (for a big man) and court vision. After a junior season spent at Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, Maker refused the chance to reclassify to the Class of 2019, instead opting to stay put and focus on college recruiting.
Or at least he thought he was staying put.
Maker will be on the move again, his guardian Edward Smith confirmed to USA TODAY High School Sports. He played one season at Chaminade College Prep, spent two years in Canada — including one season in which he was injured — and the 2018-19 season at Orange Lutheran.
The transfer is significant because of the new coach at Pacific Academy: Jordan Lawley, the longtime NBA trainer who has worked for Klay Thompson, Julius Randle and Carmelo Anthony.
Not only does Lawley provide a training pathway to an elite college and possible NBA future, he also will be able to provide honest feedback about Maker’s potential in the draft process and whether it might make sense to follow in his cousin’s footsteps.
Given that Maker is ranked as high as No. 2 overall in the Class of 2020, it stands to reason that he could become a compelling prospect for the 2020 NBA Draft.
That’s nearly a year off. For now, Maker will prepare for another new beginning, one which should foretell of a bold future either at the NBA or NCAA level, soon enough.