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Athlete Spotlight: Senior Max Winders makes varsity his first year in basketball

Senior+Max+Winders+play+basketball+on+Jan.+27.+Winders+talks+about+how+he+decided+to+try+out+for+the+basketball+team+as+a+senior.
Chase Thorpe
Senior Max Winders play basketball on Jan. 27. Winders talks about how he decided to try out for the basketball team as a senior.

How did you get into basketball?

I started from a really early age, and then I got cut freshman year. Then I pretty much asked (Head Coach Ryan) Osbourne if I could try out again and he said, ‘Yeah,’ and it all worked out from there.

Why did you decide to try out?

I really love the game of basketball. It’s one of my favorite sports. I’ve always loved it. I’ve always played it recreationally since I got cut, so I haven’t played organized basketball since eighth grade so that’s why I chose (to play) it. Also, it’s my senior year, so why not?

Where did you play basketball?

I played at Clay Middle School; I played in the Pups program when I was younger. Basketball’s just been a large part of my life and I’ve played in a lot of places.

What was the tryout process like?

A lot of it was conditioning. A lot of it for me was just trying to get comfortable on the court. I knew that I could play with these guys because I knew most of them; a lot of them were my friends previous to the tryout, so I was comfortable with the players. I was just not confident on the court. So a lot of it was just trying to get more comfortable and getting to know the coaches and everything. It was a hard tryout process but it ended up being good.

Was the tryout process nerve-wracking?

I was very nervous the whole time. I remember the first time I stepped on the court for tryouts. Since I hadn’t been playing (organized) basketball for a while, my hands were shaking. I was so nervous in the class after the tryouts. So the first period, I had (economics) and I couldn’t write because my hands were shaking.

Were you surprised you got onto varsity?

I was very surprised, actually. Since I hadn’t played in so long, I didn’t know what they thought and I didn’t know what they needed. (The coaches) told me they needed a rebounder, so I tried to make myself available to the things that they needed.

Senior Max Winders warms up for his game on Jan. 27. Winders said he is able to balance basketball and baseball at the same time.

How did your friends and family react?

My family was very excited. My family loves basketball. My dad played basketball in college- he played at Ball State- and my mom played basketball in high school, so I would say my family was so excited and all of my friends were excited for me. They were optimistic about stuff and I think I inspired some of them to try out next year.

Did being a senior help you decide to try out?

Yeah, because if I was a junior, I feel like I would need to focus on (my primary sport of) baseball more, because I would have two years left. But this year, with having just one year left of my high school career, I just wanted to get out there and try a new thing. Especially since the next four years I’ll be playing baseball in college.

Were you nervous to start playing organized basketball after so long?

One of the things I was most nervous about was playing in front of a crowd again. I remember in eighth grade, obviously the crowd wasn’t as big, but you’d always get that butterfly feeling in your stomach before you step on the court and it’s one of the best feelings you can have. So starting this season, I was nervous of course.

Has there been a learning curve to playing a new sport for varsity?

Of course. Everything we do in basketball is so different from what we do in baseball. Baseball is more mental and basketball is more physical. Everything is so much different. (Basketball) offers a whole new perspective on sports and it’s a whole nother animal.

What’s your favorite memory from this season?

My favorite memory would be this weekend against Brownsburg. We were kind of on the ropes the whole time. We knew it was a big game, we knew we needed to get the win this weekend. Brownsburg just beat the number four team in the state. It was just a big opportunity for us to show what we have, and (a teammate) shot a three- (point shot) at the end to win the game and it was just so exciting. When you get that feeling of just being so excited for your teammates; it’s just a great feeling.

 

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