For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present Max Christie, from Rolling Meadows, Illinois:
Pro Insight: Describe your game. What are your strengths?
Max Christie: I’m a combo guard. I can play point guard and shooting guard. I can bring the ball up the court and handle it, but I can also play off the ball. I can spot up for threes, I can take it off the dribble, and I can play defense too. I feel like I can do it all.
PI: Where are your biggest areas of improvement?
MC: I’ve been working on my strength this past summer. I’ve gotten a lot of constructive criticism telling me how I need to get bigger and stronger. I’ve been adding mass and getting stronger in general. Then, obviously the fundamentals of shooting and dribbling. You can’t stop working at those because they can go away really fast. The main thing is my strength and getting better.
PI: How much weight have you put on in the last year?
MC: I think about 20 pounds. I’ve grown a little bit too. I’m trying to get bigger. Not necessarily wide, but long and lean so I can withstand contact.
PI: What’s the most underrated part of your game?
MC: A lot of people know me for my shooting. I feel like my defense is underrated. With my length and ability to play on the ball, it’s something that I’ve worked on and can keep improving on. That and my ability to rebound and push the ball and pass it up the floor.
PI: Talk about your experience with Team USA this summer and what it meant to you.
MC: Winning a gold medal at 16 is unreal. Especially traveling to Brazil. Seeing the different culture. We have the best country in the world, but seeing the culture there and how people live. It’s different. And then on the floor playing against international competition, it’s a great feeling, That’s my biggest accomplishment and best memory on the floor.
PI: Can you speak about your mom’s influence on you with her basketball career?
MC: She played at Northwestern and was mostly a big. She has either the highest or 2nd highest field goal percentage in school history. She’s instilled in me how to keep a wide base, especially in the post. She’s really my mentor. She keeps me on track with social media and being able to manage these interviews. She has instilled the social aspect and how to greet people and treat people with respect. My dad is mostly on the court and my mom is mostly off the court.
PI: How many letters would she give you in H.O.R.S.E.?
MC: If I shot threes, I’d win easily. She might give me a letter or two, though (laughs).
PI: What number do you wear and why?
MC: 12. I don’t know why. It’s just always been my favorite number.
PI: What do you love most about the game of basketball?
MC: You can be creative with it, especially with moves and shooting the ball. It’s a team game. Other sports are more individual. You have to play both ends to win and you have to work together. The creativity is great. Like how James Harden created a new move. That’s awesome.
PI: What are your short term goals?
MC: I want to win a state championship in high school. We haven’t won one yet. I want to bring success to Rolling Meadows.
PI: What about long term goals?
MC: My ultimate goal is to get to the NBA, but I’m not really thinking about that. I want to be where my feet are and be the best version of myself. I want to be a great high school player, great college player, and get to the NBA. I want to be the best version of myself that I can.
PI: Do you model your game after anyone in particular?
MC: My favorite NBA player is Kevin Durant. I think our body types are similar. He’s a 6’11” guard in the NBA and I’m a 6’6” guard in high school. For him to be pulling up from 3 at 6’11” is not normal. He can get to the rim as well. I want to be versatile like him. Also, shooting and moving off the ball like Steph Curry. I trained with him at his select camp this summer. Watching how he works out and plays really caught my eye. I study how he moves off the ball and gets shots up as the best shooter ever.
PI: Who’s the hardest player you’ve ever had to guard?
MC: Hm. That’s tough. Everyone here is hard to guard. Actually, Steph Curry. I had to guard him. I didn’t know what to do. He can drive and shoot and has a great ability to get open.
PI: Who has influenced your life the most up to this point?
MC: My family. My mom, dad, and brother. That’s my real close circle. I have an AAU coach, high school coach, and a few trainers I’m close to. I don’t have a lot of friends. I have a couple, but the people that have influenced me the most are my mom, dad, and brother. They teach me how to handle myself and get to the next level.
PI: What are four words that best describe Max Christie?
MC: Resilient. Determined. Caring. Hard-working.
PI: Share something about yourself that most people have no idea about.
MC: I tend to be really quiet. When I’m around people I’m not familiar with, I’m quiet. It’s something I need to work on. It’s natural to talk on defense for me on the court, but off the court, I don’t talk to a lot of people because I want to be successful. I can be outgoing if I really know you. If I don’t know you that well, I’m pretty reserved.
PI: What’s your biggest passion outside of basketball?
MC: Hanging out with my brother. Whatever we’re doing. Playing video games, shooting outside, whatever. He makes me better. He’s the one I feel like understands me the most outside of my parents. He’s two years younger. He’s my best friend and always will be.
PI: Describe your life 10 years from now.
MC: I want to be in the NBA and be a great player, whether that means I’m an all-star or a role player. I just want to help a team win. I want to get my degree. My mom is big on education and she wants me to get a degree in college. If I go one and done, she wants me to go back to get that degree so I can support my family after basketball.
PI: You sound like someone who’s very methodical and takes things to heart. What are you holding most valuable when considering all of your college options?
MC: My family is really tight knit. I don’t want to go too far away from home because I want to see my brother play high school games. I want to come back and see my family. Distance isn’t going to affect my decision greatly, but it’s a factor I keep in my mind. Being comfortable with where I am and being able to make it feel like home is important. Another thing is the coach...I want to have a coaching relationship where they can demand from me on and off the court, but also have a friendship where I can go to them with my needs and trust.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you want to be remembered for?
MC: I want to be remembered as a hard worker, being the best version of myself, and as someone who treats others with respect. A lot of people deserve a lot of respect with ”yes sir,” ”no ma’am,” “thank you,” etc. I want to be known for being respectful and a hard worker who doesn’t give up. You can’t give up in life and you have to work hard.