These days it's easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding prep stars.
Young football and basketball players are practically superstars, with tens thousands of Twitter followers and Sports Illustrated cover stories before entering college.
Premature? Sure. But that's the way our sports media culture is moving, and there are no indications that the enormous attention paid to high schoolers is going to change.
With that in mind, we'd like to introduce you to the next high school basketball megastar. His name is Thon Maker, and he's a 7-foot-1 sophomore who is being compared to Kevin Durant. Maker's got an interesting backstory -- he was born in Sudan and spent much of his adolescence in Australia. He grew up playing soccer.
Maker's most recent highlight reel, posted to YouTube several days ago, already has a quarter of a million views.
Need more proof of Maker's unique talent? Check out what some top writers are saying about him:
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) February 9, 2014
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) February 9, 2014
Why am I even talking Parker vs. Wiggins? They're old news. Everyone's buzzing about Thon Maker today http://t.co/7bqBJqp94P
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) February 9, 2014
— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) February 9, 2014
Yes, it's probably too early to be fawning over a kid who won't graduate high school for two more years. But it's hard not to be impressed by Maker's incredible talent and to wonder what he might be able to do as a pro.