Five-star high school player Thon Maker has been cleared by the NBA to skip college and apply for the 2016 NBA Draft, according to ESPN.
NBA regulations state that US basketball players must be a year removed from graduating high school and also be 19 years old to be eligible for the draft.
His guardian Edward Smith said that Maker earned a high school diploma from the Carlisle School (Martinsville, VA) over a year ago, and that he will have his 19th birthday during this calendar year.
Now the NBA has approved Maker’s request to jump straight to 2016 draft.
Maker plans to hire an agent which means he will permanently forfeit all college eligibility.
The 7-0 Maker played this year for Athlete Institute Basketball Academy (Toronto, Canada).
Last year Maker was one of high school basketball’s top recruits when he averaged 22 points and 7 rebounds (through Dec. 29) at Orangeville Prep in Canada, according to TheHoopsColumn.com
Orangeville Prep coach Larry Blunt says Maker is a really special player.
“I tell people that he has the intensity of Kevin Garnett. He has the passing feel and ability of someone like Kevin Love [and] I think he scores like Tim Duncan, in creative ways and very fundamentally sound,” Blunt told Kentucky.com. â€œI think he’s a hybrid of a lot of really great players.”
At Orangeville last season, Maker was teammates with current Kentucky freshman and leading scorer Jamal Murray, who recently announced that he is going to the NBA as well.