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Milwaukee Bucks concerned for rookie C Thon Maker after travel order

By
The Sports Xchange

It was a nervous Friday night of travel for Milwaukee Bucks rookie center Thon Maker.

New president Donald Trump's executive order earlier Friday temporarily banned citizens from seven different Muslim-majority countries. One was Sudan, the country where the 19-year-old Maker was born.

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The Bucks played in Toronto on Friday after the ban began, and the organization was concerned as it prepared to go through customs at the airport.

But Maker's family fled to Australia as war refugees in 2002 and the 7-foot-1 Maker travels with an Australian passport. That may have been the reason that Maker's visa wasn't canceled and coach Jason Kidd said he made it through customs without incident.

The NBA is seeking clarification per the travel ban as the situation will arise again when teams play in Toronto.

"We have reached out to the State Department and are in the process of gathering information to understand how this executive order would apply to players in our league who are from one of the impacted countries," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. "The NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world."

Bucks senior vice president Alexander Lasry addressed the situation through his Twitter account.

"I appreciate all the fans' concerns and prayers for Thon. And today, a Sudanese refugee who fled oppression and is an incredible young man will make his second NBA start," wrote Lasry, in reference to Saturday's 112-108 overtime loss against the Boston Celtics. "I'm incredibly excited and proud of him. He's a symbol of what makes America great and all immigrants believe about America. ...

"We must continue to share the stories of incredible immigrants and refugees who make America GREAT."

On Saturday night, a federal judge granted an emergency stay for people already in the United States who hold valid visas, ruling they can legally enter the country.

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