Markelle Fultz is Finally a Starter
He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. But first, we need to go back to give this Underdog full credit for what he’s overcome.
A kid from Upper Marlboro, Maryland -- roughly 20 miles from Annapolis – knew nothing but hoops. His father abandoned the family when he was a child, and nothing has ever come easy for Markelle Fultz.
Without a father, Fultz found a mentor in a local coach named Keith Williams. That’s where he learned the game, and that’s who built the foundation for the player we see on the court today.
In 2012, Fultz transferred to DeMatha Catholic High School; an all-boys private school. As a sophomore, Fultz was a 5-foot-9 scrawny kid who didn’t make varsity. We’ve read this script before. He bloomed into a 6-foot-3 wiry guard with an unreal upside, and his breakout senior season earned him a full-ride to Washington University.
The Huskies had a disappointing 9-22 season in Fultz’ freshman year. He entered the draft in the summer of 2017 and quickly soared to the top of the draft boards – an amazing feat for a guard with minimal college offers and just one collegiate season in the shadows of a losing team that didn’t compete in the NCAA Tournament. Yet, there was Fultz, selected No. 1 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
In his rookie season, Fultz didn’t start a game. He made just 14 appearances and produced next to nothing on the stat sheet thanks to a lingering injury – a shoulder ailment that quickly ended his season.
After a year of rehab, Fultz is back, and he’s starting tonight for the 76ers.