For the next installment of the Q&A series, Pro Insight presents Makur Maker, a five-star prospect in the class of 2020, originally from Wau, South Sudan:
Pro Insight: Describe your game – what are your greatest strengths and biggest areas for improvement? What’s the most underrated aspect of your game?
Makur Maker: Pushing the ball in transition, I feel like that’s a big aspect of my game that’s very strong, creating for myself and making plays for others in transition. Very underrated is my passing, I think a lot of people bypass my passing, I like to pass the ball a lot and get my teammates involved.
PI: You have a lot of perimeter skills for your size – is that something that comes naturally or have you been working on that?
MM: That’s natural, I’ve just perfected it every day and have been working on it and it’s fun, I like doing it. I feel like I do a real good job when doing it too.
PI: What are your main goals you want to accomplish before your high school career is over?
MM: Just leadership, being a leader on the team, I’m working on that, and everything else will fall into place.
PI: Have you taken any visits with schools?
MM: Not really, just from a couple schools…I watched a UCLA vs. USC game – that’s about it.
PI: Which players have impressed you the most on the adidas circuit, this spring?
MM: Recently I just faced Evan Mobley…he’s long and lanky and he can block shots really good. He was pretty good, I’m just trying to face up against all the players in my class right now, seeing how it goes, how I matchup with them.
PI: How do you feel like you stack up to your class comparatively so far?
MM: I’m the best player in my class I feel like, now I just got to prove to everybody every time I’m on the floor and that’s about it…nobody’s the same as me, that’s how I look at it.
PI: How valuable has Thon Maker (Makur’s cousin) been as a resource? What’s some of the advice he’s shared with you?
MM: Just that every little detail matters…the little things. I watch him workout every now and then and the way he focuses on every game and locks in is what I’ve learned from both him and Matur.
PI: You have some time to figure it out, but down the line as you prepare to make your college decision, what are some of the top things you’re looking for in a school?
MM: Well a school that allows me to do what I’m doing right now: handle the ball, creating plays for others and for myself also. A team that’s versatile, I feel like with me on the floor I need some guys who are versatile also.
PI: Name 4 words that best describe you.
MM: Killer. Assassin. Competitive. Aggressive.
PI: College or pro, current or former player – do you model your game after anyone?
MM: I watch everybody…from Kobe, the way he plays and how he wins; Michael Jordan, the way he plays and how he wins; Durant, his face-up game. I watch everything from defense to offense…I watch everything.
PI: What has been a defining moment or story in your life? Why has that stuck with you and what did you learn from it?
MM: The day I started playing basketball I felt like I could be really good at the sport and become great so from then on it stuck out to me and now every time I’m on the floor I think back to that moment and what I can become and what I am.
PI: When did it dawn on you that you might have a real shot at making the NBA one day? How old were you?
MM: I was about 13. My friends used to play basketball at the park, and they had been playing for like five years and I just started playing recently, so when I started playing I started getting better really fast and I felt like I could take over in this game and become really good.
PI: When you realized that, did it change your approach to the game?
MM: Yeah, by the time I was about 14 or 15 I took it really serious…no messing around…you still have fun with it, but it’s a lot more serious.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
MM: The little things matter.
PI: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
MM: I see myself in the NBA as a superstar.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you want to be remembered for?
MM: As a guy who wins; a guy who’s on the floor and playing to win, going out there and puts his all into it.