'All in with the NBA draft': Rolling Meadows grad Max Christie is leaving MSU, going pro
Max Christie says he is ready.
The former Rolling Meadows High School and Michigan State star is forgoing his final three years of college eligibility and entering the June 23 NBA draft. Experts predict him to go late in the first round or early in the second round.
"After going through the draft process and receiving positive feedback from NBA teams and executives along with the belief and confidence that I have I myself, I felt it was the right decision for me to hire an agent and be all in with the NBA draft," Christie wrote in a text.
"My family fully supports my decision," he said. "I wouldn't be able to do what I do without their support, and I look forward to having them on my journey with me."
Christie, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, will attend the NBA Draft Combine Wednesday through Friday in Chicago.
Christie had a great freshman season at Michigan State, starting all 35 games and helping to lead the Spartans to the second round of the NCAA tournament where they were eliminated by Duke.
Christie averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds. He was named Big 10 freshman player of the week five times.
"My time at Michigan State was great," Christie said. "Got to be around people who know the game and got better especially on the defensive end while I was there. I made great relationships with my teammates."
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said in statement he wishes Christie well.
"After taking some time the last few months to prepare and focus on preparation and evaluation, Max and his family have decided he will stay in the 2022 NBA draft," Izzo said. "I know this has been a lifelong dream for Max and I am excited for him as he takes the next step to become an NBA player. We appreciate all the hard work and dedication he gave to Michigan State basketball this season and we wish him nothing but the best."
Rolling Meadows basketball coach Kevin Katovich said Christie has been contemplating this decision for some time.
"It had been something he had been working on for a while," Katovich said. "It is typical Max. Once he gets focused on something, there is no stopping him. Things are rolling in the right direction, so that is awesome for him."
Christie was a star for Rolling Meadows and a starter from the beginning for the Mustangs. He was ranked the top high school prospect coming out of Illinois in his senior season
In that same senior season, he led the Mustangs to their first Mid-Suburban League title in 30 years. The team was 15-0 in the COVID shortened season and considered one of the state's top teams.
He also became the all-time leading scorer in MSL history with 2,100 points. He averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds in his four years at Meadows.
"This has been his dream since Day 1," Katovich said. "It is an exciting time for everybody. Nobody is really surprised. Everyone is happy and we all expected this to happen at one point."