Young star not desiring to emulate brother

Australian-Sudanese youth footballer Maker Maker says that he’s not going to follow his older brother, new NBA recruit Thon Maker, and switch from football to basketball.

Last week Thon Maker, made headlines around the world when the 19-year-old was sensationally picked by the NBA Basketball side Milwaukee Bucks as the number 10 choice in the NBA Draft.

Thon Maker’s younger brother Maker Maker is still a teenager and plays in South Melbourne’s U20 side as a defensive midfielder. 

Maker says that even though his brother who stands at 7 ft 1, switched from football to basketball because he kept getting taller, he won’t do the same.

“Haha you never know I’m currently 6 ft 4,” he joked.

“Thon did start off with soccer. He just started growing and growing. We all played soccer and then his body started growing and obviously he had to change sports.

“But my goals are to play professionally. I just love the game. I’ve got a goal; I’ve been training with the first team a couple of times so yeah we’ll see.”

Maker was just three years old when he came to Australia with his family as a refugee from South Sudan.

He started playing football when he was four and he says that seeing his brother Thon make the step up to the NBA is an inspiration.

“Yeah it’s motivation,” he said. “He worked really hard day and night. He gets up and just plays basketball. He trained more than twice a day.  But I have to get better and work harder and I also need to put on a bit more weight as well.”

Fellow Australian South Sudanese footballer Thomas Deng who recently got a loan deal with Dutch side Jong PSV while playing for A-League side Melbourne Victory is also someone that Maker hopes to emulate.

“Yeah definitely,” he said.

“Deng made it from the NPL. So I hope I can do the same thing as well. Yeah that’s massive it shows that you can make it from that level.

Brian MacNicol, Maker’s youth team coach at South believes that while the teenager has talent there is room for improvement.

“Maker’s done well for us this year and he’s had a bit of exposure with the first team,” he said. “He always seems to get a tackle in for us. He just has to work on his decision making and moving the ball a bit quicker and be a bit more physically stronger in tackles. But he’s got a great attitude, and he’s willing to learn and is a pleasure to coach.

Regarding a move to the A-League in the future, MacNicol believes that Maker needs to establish himself at his current club side first.

“The A-League is big step up,” he said

“He should be really looking at playing first team football with South Melbourne and establish himself in the NPL and then go from the NPL to A-League.

“The big man is in with a shout, he’s been training with the first team so if he continues doing well this year who knows he might get offered a first team or a train on contract.”