Bucks first round pick Thon Maker, right, speaks as
second round pick Malcolm Brogdon listens during
their introductory news conference, Friday, June 24,
2016, at the Milwaukee Bucks' training facility, in
St. Francis, Wis.
FRANCIS — The Milwaukee Bucks got two important pieces
for the future in Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon, whose
paths to the NBA were decidedly different.
7-foot-1 Maker spent two years at a prep school in
Ontario, Canada, after his mentor and coach, Edward Smith,
thought the hype surrounding him was becoming too much at
his high school in Virginia.
23, returned to the University of Virginia for a redshirt
season rather than come out after his senior year and was
named Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year.
introduced at a news conference by Milwaukee on Friday,
with Maker taking the No. 7 jersey and Brogdon wearing No.
the Journal Sentinel he thought Maker, a native of
South Sudan who later moved to Australia, might drop in
the draft Thursday night and he also knew the 19-year-old
had impressed Detroit and Atlanta in workouts. The Bucks
took Maker with the 10th overall pick and Brogdon was
think I was surprised (to be picked so high by the
Bucks)," Maker said. "Also, I just prayed that
was it. I had a great feeling leaving this city after the
relationship with Maker began in 2010 at a gym in Perth,
Bucks first round pick Thon Maker and second round
pick Malcolm Brogdon hold up their Bucks jerseys
during their introductory news conference, Friday,
June 24, 2016, at Milwaukee Bucks training facility,
in St. Francis, Wis.
shot left-handed, sort of, but it was kind of
crooked," Smith recalled. "But the thing is he
competed. He was going after every ball. He was 140-some
pounds at the time. I was like, 'OK, you have the tools,
right.' Then I spoke to him and spoke to his parents. They
were steady. That's important."
worked with Smith at his academy in Sydney before moving
to the United States, but eventually the basketball
journey led him to the Toronto area.
needed to get away from the hoopla," Smith said.
"People are already hugging him. I said, 'OK, I don't
want to go to Oak Hill. I don't want to be in the Mouth of
Wilson.' But we can get away across the border. There are
some people in this world you just don't want kids
said it was the right move: "I just wanted to get
better and better and better. We were looking for ... ways
for me to keep my head."
said agent David Falk spoke with him after his redshirt
junior season and they agreed he would come back for the
2015-16 season at Virginia.
considered coming out and he told me it might not be a
good choice for me," Brogdon said. "It worked
out beautifully for me."
said he thinks the Bucks are a great fit for him.
understands team," Bucks vice president of scouting
Billy McKinney said. "He's going to bring energy and
leadership to this team, but he understands the pecking
order of not stepping on toes.
really a shame in my mind that the seniors get penalized
for staying for four years," he said. "They in
so many cases are more ready to play now because of not
only their on-court experiences but what they've had to
endure away from the game."