Fultz in 2018
|No. 20 – Orlando Magic|
|Position||Shooting guard / Point guard|
|Born||May 29, 1998|
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school||DeMatha Catholic|
|NBA draft||2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Markelle N'Gai Fultz (born May 29, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic 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. 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 Philadelphia 76ers.
High school career
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.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Upper Marlboro, MD||DeMatha Catholic High School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||Aug 21, 2015|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN: ESPN grade: 96|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 3 Rivals: 5 ESPN: 7|
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.
Philadelphia 76ers (2017–2019)
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. Debate ensued between sports analysts and the organization regarding how much of his shooting woes were physical versus mental. Fultz himself later clarified: "What happened [...] was an injury. Let me get that straight. It was an injury that happened that didn’t allow me to go through the certain paths that I needed to, to shoot the ball."
During his absence, Fultz's shooting mechanics, 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 might 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, at 19 years-old, he became the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double, breaking the mark previously set by fellow rookie Lonzo Ball earlier that season.
For the 2018–19 season, head coach Brett Brown named Fultz the starting shooting guard over veteran JJ Redick. Fifteen games into the season, however, Fultz lost the position to Jimmy Butler, whom the 76ers acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Conflicting statements regarding Fultz’s health and poor production continued to be sources of conflict and drama for the team. On November 20, 2018, his agent Raymond Brothers announced Fultz would not participate in practice or games until a shoulder injury was evaluated; his ailment was later described as thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), the neurogenic type of the disorder which “affects nerves between the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal functional movement and range of motion, thus severely limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball”.
Orlando Magic (2019–present)
On February 7, 2019, Fultz was traded to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Jonathon Simmons and two draft picks. Magic coach Steve Clifford later stated in March that he doesn't anticipate Fultz returning to play this season, stating his shoulder injury is "very serious."
|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|
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- "Magic Acquire Markelle Fultz in Trade From 76ers". NBA.com. February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
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