May 19, 2024

At just 17 years old, Khaman Maluach emerges as a standout basketball talent in the 2025 NBA draft class, despite never having touched a basketball just three years ago.

His inspiring journey from a refugee in Uganda to an NBA Academy in Senegal exemplifies resilience and raw talent.

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Born in Rumbek South Sudan, Khaman’s upbringing was marked by adversity. Fleeing conflict, he found refuge in Uganda, where fate intervened in an unexpected encounter with a motorcyclist who noticed his physique and imposing height.

Remarkably, Khaman’s basketball odyssey commenced when he attended a local camp organized by NBA star Luol Deng.

His innate athleticism and rapid development caught the attention of mentors and coaches, propelling him to the NBA academy in Senegal.

Despite his late start in the sport, Khaman’s dedication, work ethic, and natural abilities quickly became evident.

His remarkable growth at the NBA academy garnered attention from scouts and basketball enthusiasts worldwide, positioning him as a rising star in the basketball scene.

Khaman’s story embodies the power of opportunity and determination.

His journey from humble beginnings to the brink of NBA draft eligibility serves as a testament to the transformative impact of sports in shaping lives and transcending barriers.

As the basketball world eagerly awaits the 2025 draft, Khaman Maluach stands as a symbol of hope and possibility, poised to make an indelible mark in the NBA, representing the resilience and talent emerging from South Sudan and the broader African basketball landscape.

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Maluach joined South Sudanese professional team Cobra Sport during the 2022 BAL season, courtesy of the BAL Elevate program pairing NBA Academy players with BAL teams.

His debut against Zamalek in April 2022 saw him contribute two points and two rebounds in a seven-minute play.

In the following year March 2023, Maluach embarked on his second BAL season, drafted by AS Douanes, the reigning Senegalese champions.

The team reached the final, where Maluach notably started, securing 2 points and 4 rebounds in the game against Al Ahly, though they faced defeat.

Adding to his accolades, Maluach showcased his talent at the 2023 Basketball Without Borders event in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he earned recognition as the camp’s MVP.

Image Credit: Google

Video Credit: NBA Africa


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