"We believe this is the best decision for Thon, Matur and my family," said Ed Smith, Maker's guardian who will be an assistant coach with the Athlete Institute. "The strength and condition program is tremendous and is the main factor of this decision. Playing with high-level players such as Jamal Murray and Jalen Poyser, and playing an international schedule, as well as many games back in the states makes the schedule strong. The academic component has everything in place."
The brothers will be attending the Orangeville District Secondary School and playing basketball at the Athlete Institute under the name of Orangeville Prep.
"We are excited to have both Thon and Matur join our program, as they are great players and people," coach Larry Blunt said.
"It's definitely the right fit for me," Thon Maker said. "I came up here last year, but now I got a chance to see both the academic and athletic side, and I was really impressed. It will certainly help me attain one of my goals, and that is to change my body over time."
Thon Maker, who came to the United States from Australia (via Sudan), has two years of high school eligibility remaining, but academically could work himself to reclassify to the class of 2015 as an option.
He is considered not only the best player in the class of 2016, but maybe the best prospect in all of high school basketball. He owns the size of a center with uncommon skill and athletic ability, along with a strong work ethic that has made him one of the most sought-after recruits in the world.