Q&A with five-star junior Max Christie
Max Christie sits as one of the top guard prospects in the 2021 class and has not been at a loss for quality college landing spots whenever it may time to commit. A 6-foot-5, long and wiry guard, Christie’s pedigree and talent base is top notch which sets him apart from many of his peers nationally.
In our latest Q-and-A session with the five-star prospect, Christie discusses how his season finished, feelings for the coronavirus, and how the ongoing pandemic has impacted his recruitment. He also assesses his top college suitors, friendship with top-five junior Pat Baldwin and what he thinks of the new G-League path.
Corey Evans (CE): How did your high school season end?
Max Christie (MC): I think, overall, as the season went on, we improved as a team compared to last year. We took our program in the right direction but we kind of ended it short, unfortunately, we lost to a team that we should have beat. They got the best of us early in the playoffs but overall, we did a really good as a team.
CE: You had some momentum going into the travel season but the coronavirus has put things on hold for a while. What are your feelings about that?
MC: I am just trying to make the most out of the pandemic. I just want to make sure that I am still working out and staying in shape, but I also want to take this time to kind of reflect on things that I have been doing so I can also improve myself as a basketball player and also as a human being. I want to make sure that everyone in my family stays safe and everybody that is affected by the virus continues to get better and feels relief. In general, with the coronavirus, I am just trying to take everything slow and make the most out of it.
CE: Have you noticed a change in your recruitment or in the ways that schools are recruiting you?
MC: Yeah, ever since the virus came out, we have done more virtual calls or Zoom visits since we can’t see them in person. I have been talking with a lot of coaches on the phone and obviously texting back and forth. The Zoom virtual visits have been a thing as well.
CE: How many schools, off the top of your head, are you speaking with?
CE: You have taken one official visit so far? To Michigan State?
CE: How was that for you?
MC: The whole official visit was great. It was my first official visit so it was fun getting down there. They did a really good job of making sure that I was comfortable with Michigan State and in general, they did a good job.
CE: What are your feelings about the program?
MC: Michigan State, they had a really good year this year even with a lot of the simulated tournaments that were done; I think they won two of the three national championships. I think their program is in a really good spot with Coach (Tom) Izzo coaching the program and I am looking forward to staying in contact with them.
CE: What about Northwestern? What intrigues you about them especially with having a mom that played there.
MC: It is great. I have been around Northwestern almost my entire life with my mom going there. I went to a lot of games whenever I was a kid and was a ball boy there a lot. They obviously have a strong tie with me and I have a strong tie with Northwestern because I have known them for so long and it is really nice and I am really lucky to have them recruiting me as hard as they are. It is kind of something you don’t understand with having your mom’s alma mater recruiting you to go play there so it is a blessing.
CE: What interests you about Ohio State?
MC: They are telling me that I could make a huge impact whenever I get to the program, if that is the case. They had a lot of transfers this year but the Transfer Portal is kind of ridiculous now. Ohio State, it is just a big program and a lot of my (Illinois) Wolves alumni from AAU have went there like Evan Turner, so I am pretty familiar with Ohio State and they are a pretty intriguing program.
CE: Villanova is another school heavily in the mix for you.
MC: Earlier today, we actually had a virtual visit with Villanova and their entire staff with me and my family. They did great this past year even though they had a really young team with Collin Gillespie as their starting point guard along with Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Saddiq Bey and everyone else. I think they are in a great spot as a program, as well, and they have won two national championships fairly recently and I think they are a really good program that Jay Wright has them going in the right direction.
CE: Virginia is a school that has been involved with you for a while now, too. What are your feelings about with them?
MC: Tony Bennett is a great guy and they are technically the defending national champions and Coach Bennett is just a great coach. He is also a great person outside of basketball; he is very holistic and knows how to coach basketball programs and basketball players. Virginia is definitely intriguing to me, especially with Coach Bennett being there.
CE: Another is Duke; how often are they in contact with you?
MC: Duke is in contact with me. Coach K and with his recruiting style, he doesn’t talk to his recruits as much. He has a lot going on and is arguably the greatest coach of all time in college basketball. Coach K has been really busy and Duke has contacted me every now and again but I just think their recruiting style is a little different but Duke has stayed in contact but not as much as the others.
CE: It seems that a lot of the schools on your list are similar ones on Pat Baldwin’s list? Have you two spoken about playing together at all in college?
MC: Yeah, not recently, but we have known each other for a long time. I have known Pat since we were in sixth grade and obviously, we have had some talks here and there, but it hasn’t been anything necessarily huge. I think that it is kind of accidental actually that we have both the same type of schools on our list but yeah, Pat is someone that I am close with and talk to every now and again.
CE: Have you thought about how you want this all to play out with your recruitment? That is, for this spring and moving ahead to your commitment?
MC: For my recruitment, I plan to commit before my high school season starts next year. I plan to go into that without having any of the pressure and that I can just represent the school that I committed to whenever that time comes. I am still taking it slow and the recruiting process is getting towards the end but I am in no rush.
CE: Any schools you feel you definitely want to see before doing that?
MC: Most of the schools that have contacted me like Villanova, Virginia, Duke and I still want to keep going to Michigan State, along with Northwestern and Ohio State.
CE: Lastly, I am sure that you heard about the new G-League structure for the nation’s elite. What is your two-cents on the matter?
MC: A lot of players are looking to go the pro route with Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd, while RJ Hampton and LiMelo Ball went to the NBL, so it is really just a different route. Their main goal is to get to the NBA but for me, I obviously want to have the college experience and there is life after basketball. I want to get my degree at some point and feel that I am part of a family after I leave college so the G-League is definitely intriguing. You are making money, you get to get closer to the NBA but I want to take the steps that will set me up for life and not just for basketball.