Markelle Fultz Fultz in 2018No. 20 – Philadelphia 76ersPosition Shooting guardLeague NBAPersonal informationBorn (1998-05-29) May 29, 1998 (age 20)
Markelle N'Gai Fultz (born May 29, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Washington Huskies before joining the NBA. Termed the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Fultz—at point guard and shooting guard—played one season for an underperforming Washington team in 2016, where his scoring and athleticism were widely recognized. Fultz was selected to the third-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 during that period. He entered the draft the following year, and was selected first overall by the 76ers.Contents
Fultz was born in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, a community about 23 miles (37 km) from Annapolis, the youngest of two children; his father abandoned the family and he relied heavily on his mother, Ebony. Excitable and impassioned by basketball, in his early years Fultz was mentored by local instructor Keith Williams. In 2012, he began attending DeMatha Catholic High School, an athletically renowned, all-boys college-preparatory private school, but as a freshman he was ineligible from trying out for the varsity team, the Stags. As a 5-foot-9-inch (1.75 m) sophomore, Fultz was overlooked for his unusual gait—having the appearance of "Bambi", assistant coach Cory McCrae said, "He was long and lanky, and he’d walk and his knees would be hurting"; subsequently, Fultz was cut and returned to junior varsity, where he outplayed the competition.
Assistant coach Raphael Chillious of the Washington Huskies was the first to notice Fultz and described him as an athlete with the potential to be an NBA All-Star-caliber player if he continued to grow; at the start of his junior season, he measured 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m). While a starter for DeMatha's varsity team, Fultz averaged 16.8 points (PPG), 7.9 rebounds (RPG), and 4.3 assists (APG) and was named Player of the Year in the highly-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Among his junior year highlights were his game-winning foul shots in a 16-point performance against Chaminade—all while guarded by Jayson Tatum—and a triple-double in a matchup with Roselle Catholic at the Hoophall Classic. His recruiting stature soared: Rivals.com ranked Fultz as No. 24 in the Class of 2016 and over 20 college programs offered him scholarships.
Prior to his senior season, Fultz made a verbal commitment to Washington Huskies basketball on August 21, 2015. He concluded his high school career with breakout numbers—recording the Stags' single-season record for assists (278) and leading the team to their second consecutive conference championship. On March 31, 2016, Fultz posted 10 points, six rebounds, and four assists at the McDonald's All-American Game. At the Jordan Brand Classic in April, he accumulated 19 points in a 131-117 East team victory. During the summer, he was selected to Team USA's FIBA Americas Under-18 roster. With Fultz as the leading scorer, the team progressed to the gold medal championship game—and in dominating fashion, Fultz scored 23 points, which earned him the tournament's MVP award.US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date Markelle Fultz
The Huskies anticipated opening the 2016-2017 season with Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss; Fultz predicted in such a scenario: "I think we would be No. 1 in the country. We would have gone to the (NCAA) tournament and won the tournament". Instead, both freshmen were selected in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft. Without any proven talent and only one returning starter, Fultz took charge as a leader and scorer. Starting at point guard, he debuted in a home game against Yale, posting 30 points in a 98-90 loss.
Though the remainder of the Huskies' year was disappointing—finishing with a 9-22 record—Fultz had one of the best freshman seasons in Pac-12 Conference history. In 25 games, his 23.2 points per game was the highest mark in the Pac-12 in 20 years and second in Huskies history, behind Bob Houbregs' 25.6 points per game in 1952-1953. He also led the team in minutes played (35.7), assists per game (5.7), and was second in rebounds per game (5.9). By the time Pac-12 honors were awarded, Fultz—the lone Husky selected—was named to the First-team All-Pac-12 and Third-team All-American. A player who "jumps off the page athletically and possesses creative scoring instincts and playmaking skills", the consensus among sports analysts was that Fultz would be the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.Professional career Philadelphia 76ers (2017–present) Rookie season
Fultz was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers, as the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft; they finalized his four-year rookie contract on July 8. The 76ers, after years of obscurity, had lofty expectations entering the season: with a core consisting of Fultz, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons, they had potential for a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. In his first regular season game, on October 18, Fultz posted 10 points, three rebounds, and an assist in 18 minutes of play coming off the bench. However, a shoulder injury—termed a "scapular muscle imbalance"—hindered Fultz's shooting early in the season—to such a degree that he posted only a 33% field goal percentage (FG%) and did not attempt a single three-pointer in four games. The 76ers decided to sit him indefinitely until he recovered. It was later revealed by a trainer of his that he managed to get the yips during the majority of the rookie season.
During his absence, Fultz's shooting mechanics—which were altered by a trainer outside the 76ers organization months before the season—and lengthy recovery time were heavily scrutinized. The team's president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo, suggested that the rookie may not play again during the season, but on March 26, 2018, it was announced that Fultz would return for a game against the Denver Nuggets. Despite some missteps, including an air-ball and shots blocked, Fultz posted 10 points and eight assists in 14 minutes of playing time. On April 11, he recorded his first triple-double at 19 years old, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to do so–a record previously held by fellow rookie Lonzo Ball earlier that season.Career statistics Legend GP Games played GS Games started MPG Minutes per game FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high NBA Regular season Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG 2017–18 Philadelphia 14 0 18.1 .405 .000 .476 3.1 3.8 .9 .3 7.1 Career 14 0 18.1 .405 .000 .476 3.1 3.8 .9 .3 7.1 Playoffs Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG 2018 Philadelphia 3 0 7.7 .143 – .750 1.0 1.7 .7 .0 1.7 Career 3 0 7.7 .143 – .750 1.0 1.7 .7 .0 1.7 College Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG 2016–17 Washington 25 25 35.7 .476 .413 .649 5.7 5.9 1.6 1.2 23.2 References