The next few months could bring big changes to Majok Majok’s basketball career.
The 24-year-old Melbourne United centre is back in town after impressing NBA club Dallas Mavericks at a mini camp earlier this month.
He is expected to play for Melbourne against China in a tour game at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday and in the months ahead he could have the chance to make his Australian Boomers debut and maybe even press for an NBA try-out.
China has two national squads and is sending their “blue” squad to Australia for games against Melbourne and Brisbane.
In the past two NBL seasons Majok has impressed people across the league with his selfless play and tough rebounding, which led to the Mavericks bringing him to the US for a closer look.
While he didn’t join the Mavericks for the NBA summer league, he said the feedback from Dallas was positive.
“I had a mini training camp with Dallas. It actually went pretty well and the coaches were impressed,” Majok said.
“I had a good time and learnt a lot from them. It was a good chance for me to get better and take those things into next season.
“They will be keeping a close eye on me and we will see how the rest of the season goes.”
Majok will also join the Boomers training camp next week as Andrej Lemanis cuts his 20-man squad down to 12 players for the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon from August 8-20.
Majok will face stiff competition to make the side but his combination with Melbourne teammate David Andersen and former Melbourne power forward Daniel Kickert could be in his favour.
“It would mean a lot to make the Boomers, especially for a guy like me who came to this country as a kid, as a refugee [from South Sudan],” Majok said.
If Majok does make the Boomers it could lead to a hectic few months leading into the NBL season in October should the Mavericks bring him back to join their training camp.
“If I make the Boomers team that could determine whether I make it to a training camp this year or next year,” Majok said.
New Melbourne United coach Dean Vickerman and his coaching staff have been working closely with Majok to improve his shooting range, which he says is coming along well.
Soon after Melbourne United’s NBL season finished in February, Majok discovered he had played through a hairline fracture in his foot, which needed two months rest to repair.
“I didn’t know that I was playing through it until I had a scan after the season,” Majok said.
“I was feeling it but I just thought it was sore. It turned out it was worse than I thought but I’ve had time for it to heal and I’m good now.”
The South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association hosted their annual classic tournament in Melbourne over the weekend and welcomed two-time NBA all-star Luol Deng to town as he hosted a clinic on Monday.
Deng greeted Majok warmly during his visit and Majok admits he would love to one day follow Deng into the NBA.
“It means a lot to see Luol here and have him show his face among all these kids,” Majok said.
“My goal is to one day play in the NBA so to have that as a start is a good path to take.
“You never know what could happen before the season.”
Melbourne United has suffered an injury blow ahead of the China game with new signing Daniel Dillon injuring his achilles while playing for Kilsyth Cobras in the SEABL over the weekend.
Dillon will miss six to eight months which would likely end his season but Melbourne is yet to rule out a possible return for Dillon pending further tests on the injury.
Melbourne will seek out an injury replacement for Dillon.
Melbourne United face China at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday at 3pm.