Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker may be a professional basketball player, but that doesn’t make him any less human. 

A lot of the guys in the NBA are courteous and considerate. Thon Maker now publically joins that club after he gave up his first-class seat for an economy one on Sunday night.

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Maker, 20, was on a re-booked United flight on Sunday when the plane began experiencing delays. The flight attendants went around asking everyone if they would relocate to help get the aircraft moving. Maker, who stands at 7-1, happily obliged and moved from the first-class cabin, according to passenger Paul Kuzma (who also happens to be a second cousin once removed from Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma):

Alas, it was too good to be true! Moments later, a 7’1″ tall young man who could not even stand completely straight in the aisle of the plane made his way our direction. My heart sunk, not for me, but for him! I saw him emerge from an Economy Plus window seat!

I told him I was so sorry, knowing this would be uncomfortable for him. He nonchalantly said it was worth it to get this delayed flight going. He had practice to attend in the morning and had a 2+ hour drive to get where he was headed after landing.

I had to ask how in the world he ended up in the last row. He also had missed a flight and was rebooked on this one. He was assigned his original FIRST CLASS seat.

He had settled in there when a flight attendant told him the person who had paid for that seat on THIS flight had shown up, albeit very late. They had to move him to Economy Plus.

Once there for a while, his story mirrors mine. Requests were being made for someone to move to the last row and no one was volunteering. So he volunteered, wanting the flight to begin.

He couldn’t even fit his knees into the Economy seat! Every time the snack cart came by or someone had to use the restroom, he had to get up and move out of their way.

The entire flight, there was not a hint of resentment in his voice. He was even happy to allow me a picture with him and an autograph. Class act, Thon!


The Sudanese center is entering his second season with the Bucks and having this story spread through the organization, and the city is fantastic. A small act of kindness goes a long way. And the thought of missing practice was the perfect motive.

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