Christie happy and motivated at Rolling Meadows
Max Christie is grounded.
The sophomore boys basketball star from Rolling Meadows has been receiving tons of attention from Division 1 coaches after an exceptional freshman year and even a better summer season. Yet, he still thinks of himself as just a local kid.
"Rolling Meadows has always been good," Christie said. "I love the culture here and it is a great place to be. I really like being at school with my friends, my teachers and my teammates. The community here is great with lots of spirit. There is no other place I would rather be."
In this day and age of transfers for a minutia of more attention, perceived better competition or dissatisfaction with current success, it is refreshing to find a player who likes to click his heels. It would be easy for anyone who has 12 Division 1 offers by the time he was 16 years old and is ranked by some of the top basketball analysts as the best sophomore basketball player in the state, to overstate his self worth.
But that is not in Christie's modus operandi.
Even before he attended one class at Rolling Meadows, the push was on for him to move to attend other schools.
"It became a joke," Christie said. "There were rumors of me going here or going there. People were trying to get me move and switch schools. My friends are here and this is a great community. It has been a great experience for me both socially and academically. There is a great staff here and everyone watches out for each other."
Most of that can be traced to his parents, Max and Katrina. Both parents played college basketball with Max Sr. playing at Division II Wisconsin-Superior and Katrina a star player at Northwestern.
Max Jr., credits his parents for keeping him on the right track.
"They have given me a lot of advice," Christie said. "They went through all this and they have been a huge help. And not just with basketball stuff. I wouldn't be anywhere without them. They have taught me a lot about basketball, school, social life and all that stuff."
Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich noticed Christie right away when Christie began attending the Mustang basketball camps beginning in fifth grade. And not just because of his basketball skill.
"His parents are an instrumental voice in his life," Katovich said. "They support him and work with him on a daily basis. It is a very close-knit family."
Katovich said that Christie, who works out 6-7 days per week, is one of the hardest working players he has ever seen.
"His commitment to getting it done is unmatched," Katovich said. "He spends that many hours in the gym. He is going to draw a lot of attention which will lead to opportunity for other guys. He is very unselfish and makes the right decisions."
Christie, who plays for Mike Mullins of the Illinois Wolves in the offseason, said that playing for the Wolves has opened up the notoriety he has received.
"They are a great program and taught me a lot," Christie said. "Ever since I joined them, my attention has exploded. The Wolves have been an actual factor in my success."
Christie said that he would like to meet another Rolling Meadows star to discuss how he dealt with the extra notoriety. Christie said he'd love to that chat with former Mustang and current San Francisco 49er quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
"It would be great to speak to him about a different sport and how he handled his success here at Meadows," Christie said. "I have heard from people here who know him what a great person he is. He is one of the most successful pros."