Photo from Markelle Fultz' Facebook page.

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Markelle Fultz raring to prove why he was number 1 overall pick

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, September 27, 2019 3:42pm

Former number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz has not had a productive two years in the National Basketball Association, but he is still confident that he can show his basketball prowess when he finally returns to the court.

Through his first two seasons in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, the former University of Washington alumnus has played in just 33 games as he has been saddled with shoulder injuries. On Thursday (Philippine time), he was back on the court, shooting at the Orlando Magic’s training facility, and enjoying the moment.

"Man, I always have joy every time I step in here no matter what's going on," Fultz said after his workout. "As I learned quickly, you can't take it for granted. You never know when it's going to get stripped away from you."

Last season, Fultz was diagnosed with a neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition where blood vessels or nerves around the collarbone and first rib are compressed. In February, the 76ers have traded him for Jonathan Simmons and a package of draft picks.

"A lot of people, they would never go play with what I had and knowing they couldn't shoot the ball," Fultz said.

He never played for the Magic last season, but the team still paid him $12.3 million for the 2020-21 season. And he is out to prove his worth.

"I was the No. 1 pick for a reason," Fultz said. "I knew that I work hard and what I can do on the basketball court. That's all that matters."

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