Just a few months ago, Thon Maker became a household name around the world for his role as a difference maker for the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2018 NBA playoffs.
Now, he has become an internet meme for throwing flying kicks in a basketball game.
The Sudanese-born Boomer was among the four players ejected for the Australian National squad after figuring in an ugly skirmish against the hometeam Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.
An apologetic Maker took to Twitter to address the horrific brawl inside the Philippine Arena, which many are dubbing as the worst on-court melee since the infamous ‘Malice in the Palace’ in Detroit in 2004.
“I am deeply disappointed in the actions displayed during yesterday’s game against the Philippines. Being from a war-torn country, basketball for me has always been a means to bring people together,” the 21-year-old Milwaukee Bucks center wrote on Twitter.
— Thon Maker ™ (@ThonMaker14) July 3, 2018
In the aftermath of the sickening scene, Maker also called for stricter security measures in high-stake tournaments such as the FIBA World Cup qualifiers. All hell broke loose at the 4-minute mark of the third quarter, when Boomers big man Daniel Kickert elbowed Gilas’ Roger Pogoy. A violent free-for-all mayhem ensued and security appeared helpless in defusing the situation.
Maker owned up to his mistakes and said that he was only looking out for his teammates’ well-being.
“I take responsibility for my actions knowing that they were a result of MY DESIRE to protect my teammates and myself,” he shared. “It is a tremendous honor to represent Australia, the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA and my goal is to reflect that in my conduct and play.”
(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)