Incredibly, Ben Simmons might not be the lone Australian representative in the first round of this year’s life-changing NBA Draft.

Whilst Simmons is still very much in the conversation for the highly-coveted first pick in this year’s draft, a fellow Australian has thrown the doors of the draft’s first round wide open.

High School baller Thon Maker has revealed his intentions to declare for the draft today, in what would be an historic move.

Maker was born in South Sudan, but escaped the war-torn region with his family when he was five, when Australia took him in as a refugee. His prodigious height – 7’1″ or 216cm tall – lead him to be spotted and identified as a top potential basketball prospect early in his teens, after officials managed to convince his future was better suited to the court, rather than his first love, soccer.

Relocating to the US for high school, Maker subsequently dominated on-court for the private Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia. There, for his freshman and sophomore years, he averaged 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game.

After spending two years in Virginia, Maker relocated again – this time to Ontario, Canada – to attend the specialised Athlete’s Institute with his younger brother Matur, himself a top basketballing prospect.

In declaring for the NBA Draft today, Maker presents the league with a rather unique case. The league’s by-laws state that no player can be drafted straight out of high school (a reasonably new rule change that previously allowed both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant to be plucked directly into the big leagues without gaining college basketball experience).

However, an anomaly in Maker’s high school career technically satisfies the requirements of the rule. It states that a player is eligible for the draft if they are at least 19 years old, and one full NBA season has passed since their high school graduation. Maker enrolled in a rare fifth year of high school in Canada to stay close to his brother, and claims this means his high school graduation date was technically in 2014-15.

The talented centre’s nomination for the draft is a stunning move that’s shocked both NBA and college recruiters, the latter of which had been courting the universally-regarded 5-star prospect. Previously it was anticipated that Maker would compete in one season of US college basketball before declaring for the draft, treading the same path that Ben Simmons did at LSU this year.

Maker’s size and ability has already linked him to the first round of the NBA draft. The NBA will now have to assess Maker’s case and decided whether or not to declare him draft eligible; though he does meet the requirements for the draft eligibility, there are some “spirit of the law” concerns, as well as league commissioner Adam Silver‘s previously stated desire to see the draft eligibility age raised.

The 2016 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on June 23rd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Source: ABC News.

Photo: Kelly Kline/Getty.