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Meet Khaman Maluach: The South Sudanese NBA Draft Prospect On The Rise

Updated: Apr 6


Khaman Maluach palming two FIBA Basketballs

FIBA

The evolution of basketball continues to be a beautiful sight to behold as the game continues to grow and progress worldwide. We’ve seen the game’s influx of international talent more this past decade than ever before with the last five NBA MVPs being Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (‘19, ‘20), Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic (‘21, ‘22), and Philadelphia Sixers Joel Embiid (‘23) who looked on pace to win back-to-to back before injury.


Even Dallas Mavericks superstar guard Luka Doncic has been a revelation from the day he came into the league in 2018 and became the fastest player to score 10,000 career points in a 50-point, 15-assist masterpiece on Christmas day against the Phoenix Suns in a 128-114 victory.




We have San Antonio Spurs rookie, the most heralded since LeBron James in the man I like to call the 7-foot-4 “French Mamba” Victor Wembanyama, who’s having an incredible debut season himself and is something we’ve never seen before.


Now the question fans and NBA front offices always ask is who’s next in line? Who’s the next great international import? Well… Meet Khaman Maluach: The South Sudanese Prodigy On The Rise.


Standing at 7-foot-2, 240 lbs, and boasting a wingspan of 7-foot-6 inches (measurements that’ll make NBA GMs salivate) is Maluach of South Sudan. 




Maluach reclassified and will be graduating high school by next summer which will make him eligible for the 2025 NBA Draft, where he is projected to be one of the top picks, according to NBA Draft Room.


The 17-year-old recently committed to play college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils where he’ll join No.1 ranked Cooper Flagg in the frontcourt in what should be a devastating matchup nightmare for opponents next season.

Maluach has a nice touch on his jumper with solid shot mechanics that will only get better with time. He has a nice little jump hook over either shoulder, which makes him harder to guard, and a great motor to match. He also possesses a solid handle and faceup game that you love to see in the modern big man, as well as being a terror in the interior defensively.


Maluach didn’t start playing basketball until 2019 at the age of 13 which makes his rise all the more impressive as he’s still a baby in terms of basketball knowledge and still has a ways to go to reach his potential.


He has been a part of the NBA’s Academy in Africa in Senegal since 2021 where he has been developing his game. Maluach was named the Basketball Without Borders camp MVP in August. Following that, he was named to the South Sudan senior national team where he became the third-youngest player in FIBA World Cup history.


Following his decision to reclassify, Maluach stated why he came to such a decision: "I think I am ready to play at that level, I've played against some of the top [prospects] in 2024 and 2025, and against pros in the FIBA World Cup. Playing against stronger and more experienced guys helped me realize where I stand and what I need to work on."


Maluach, 17, has a maniacal work ethic and wants to go somewhere looking to help take his game to the next level: "I want to go somewhere where they put my development first, Get me ready for the next step, but also winning too. I would like to go somewhere where I can win a championship."


He’s aware of what he needs to work on to fulfill his ultimate potential: “For me to reach my full potential, I need to work on my handle, my shot, everything.”



In the Basketball Africa League (BAL), Maluach was nothing short of impressive, averaging 21 points, 15.5 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks shooting 40% from 3 in the qualifiers in November with the NBA Academy Africa.


Maluach boasts great size, mobility, motor, and soft touch to become a tremendous player one day. He still has a long way to go in understanding the nuances and fundamentals of the game defensively and sharpening his offensive skills, but all the ingredients are there.

He has the mindset to be great, the tools, and the love for the game as he studies guys similar to his physical size such as Giannis, Embiid, Wembanyama, and Chet Holmgren to name a few as he knows he’ll be going up against them in the future.


Remember the name Khaman Maluach, because he is coming to shift basketball.

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