Former classmates expected big things from Markelle Fultz

Teenager from Prince Georges Co., Markelle Fultz, has been thrust into the limelight after becoming the NBA's no. 1 draft pick.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - He is a teenager from Prince Georges County who has been thrusted into the lime light.

Markelle Fultz was the NBA’s number one draft pick this year, but before being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers he learned everything he knows in the DMV,

Fultz is 19 and grew up in Upper Marlboro for a good portion of his life.

RELATED: Markelle Fultz top pick in NBA draft

He went to Dematha after attending James Madison Middle School where some of his former classmates said they knew back then that he’d have a bright future playing ball.

“He'd come in the gym and then automatically pick up a basketball and play basketball with us,” Rontae Lanier said. “He was that good. I ain't want no problems but uh -- (laughs). We all played ball together.”

People who know Fultz said you will always find him with a smile on his face, but he is serious, focused, and very mature for his age.

He grew up in a single-family household where his mother had to take care of Markelle and his sister on her own.

With that comes struggles like not always being able to afford everything.

RELATED: Prince George's Co.'s Markelle Fultz #1 pick in NBA Draft

However, neighbors told WUSA9 Markelle’s mom always found a way to make sure her children could follow their dreams

“We have a lot of good opportunities here, but I know he wanted to do something bigger for his family,” Donald Hankerson said.  “As I said I'm from a single-family home too. So, I can relate wanting to really help out your family, help your mother, and really do everything you can. I think this was a good opportunity to show not only what he can do on the basketball court but on the basketball court.”

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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