Max Hazzard – Senior University of Arizona Basketbal

“Ever since I can remember I’ve been playing basketball or have been around it. My love for the game naturally grew. My favorite player in middle school was Russell Westbrook. I modeled my game after his and would try and play just like him. When I got to high school I started watching Steph Curry every day, whether it was on YouTube or watching his games on TV. I just kind of fell in love with how he played and who he was as a player. From all of that I saw a transition in my game.”

Coming out of HS, I thought I’d come to UC Irvine and immediately be the man. When I heard the news that they were planning on redshirting me for my freshman year it was kind of a punch to the gut. Looking back, I’m grateful for that humbling experience because it gave me time to develop and turned me into the player I am today.”

“I had 2 shoulder surgeries in 4 years at UCI. When I tore my labrum for the second time, I remember thinking ‘I don’t know if I can do this again. I don’t know if I can do 6-9 months of rehab again with no guarantees.’ It was super discouraging, but my teammates and family helped me get through it and I’m really glad I did.”

 “To finally win that conference tournament and be named the MVP was special. To win 31 games anywhere and reach the second round of the NCAA tournament is not easy, that was a special team, a special year.”

“It was a surreal experience when I entered the transfer portal. After being underrecruited in high school, it was special for me to have top programs finally reach out with offers. When Coach Miller at the University of Arizona was the first to call I thought, ‘Is Sean Miller really calling me?’”

 “It was a dream come true to follow my brother Jacob and come play at the University of Arizona for my final year. Every kid dreams of going to a big university, playing in front of packed arenas every night, and being on national TV. I’m grateful that Arizona let me be a part of that for my final year.”

“I hope this has all taught us one big lesson to enjoy and be grateful for what we have. People say ‘treat every game like your last,’ but no one really knows how to do it. I think now we know how to do it. I’m so grateful for everything basketball has given me.”

“I’m grateful for the life lessons that I’ve gotten through the game. It’s really about the lessons of overcoming and staying consistent and persistent and it’s been a privilege to learn that throughout my career.” 

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