A South Sudanese youngster has set the social media abuzz in the United States of America after he was officially signed to play basketball for the Maryland men’s team for the class of 2019.
Chol Marial’s pick by the University of Maryland has been welcomed by both fans, students and professional commentators of the game who have described him as “the best thing that has come to the game in Maryland in a long time.”
Marial, born in Rumbek, South Sudan moved to the United States in 2014 and attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, before finishing his prep career at Arizona Compass Prep in Chandler.
He is ranked as the 58th player in America by the ESPN, a U.S.-based pay television sports channel. It also rated him as the second player in the state of Arizona, and as the number 6 player in the state of Arizona by 247Sports media.
According to Maryland’s umterps.com, Chol was discovered in 2013 at the Basketball Without Borders event in South Africa. In his career that is just getting started, he is accredited for averaging 14 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks at Arizona Compass Prep.
He is related to another positive story for South Sudan, Thon Maker who plays for the U.S Milwaukee Bucks.
“I have watched Chol the last three years and I can’t say enough about him as both a person and a basketball player. He is one of the top players in his class when healthy,” an excited Maryland’s Terp Nation Head coach, Mark Turgeon said.
He said Chol’s engagement with the team will solidify the Maryland men’s basketball team.
“Chol’s tremendous size and length make him an excellent rim protector,” he added.
For his part, Chol described the opportunity as a blessing from God, and poured his heart out to all those who have supported him so far.
“I would like to thank the people that surrounded me in this journey and my family in the South Sudan and Arizona who has always believed in me. It has been a long journey, and I am blessed. I’m looking forward to getting better every day and playing for,” Chol said.
Professional sports broadcasters in the U.S who have seen Chol play say he possesses a “humble demeanor and a strong work ethic” that will fit well for the game.
“Maryland needed another big and he’s definitely big,” Jeff Ermann, a publisher in Maryland remarked.
“What’s the old saying — if you’re go, go big! Terps can’t get much bigger than this dude,” said Rob Carlin, Capitals Talk Podcast host.
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