Jock Talk with Joel Charron: The Evolution of Max Reiner

If it were up to Max Reiner he would quietly go through the day not telling anyone of his accomplishment of this years’ basketball season.

But that’s just the type of person Reiner is. He would rather have everyone focus on the team and its accomplishments than brag about himself.

But it’s not up to Reiner and the kid deserves a little recognition for what he has done over this past  season.

To go along with his first team all-star mention, Reiner was also awarded the Tier 2 Mr. Basketball Award for best player in league.

“I think it’s well deserved,” said head coach Dom Silvaggio.

Well deserved indeed.

For those who haven’t seen the Sr. boys’ basketball team play this season, well you missed out on some exciting hardcourt action.

Reiner, a Grade 12 student, stepped into and embraced the leadership role like very few athletes I’ve seen that donned the Amherst colours.

He commands the floor like a general and controls the pace of the game like a maestro conducts a symphony.

Simply put, Reiner is Amherst’s answer to the LA Clippers’ Chris Paul.

But if you ask Reiner, he’ll tell you that is the player around him that make him stand out.

Before the semi-final game against Villanova, Reiner told me that this is been the most fun he’s had on the court in his young basketball career mostly because of his teammates.

“The guys around me are amazing,” he said. “I have three giants that control the middle and crash the boards in Todd Girard, and Joel and TJ Wilson. Not to mention Dylan Jaber, who isn’t afraid to drive to a basket or pull up for a jumper.”

Ever so humble, Reiner not only dishes the ball on the court but compliments off it.

I have watched Reiner’s game evolve over the last four years. When he first came onto the scene you could tell the potential was there but he was a little timid.

In years’ past, Reiner distributed the ball, not taking very many shots. That’s because he felt he needed to get the ball to the senior students.

“I knew my role,” he said. “That was to get the ball to the other guys. I didn’t want to shot, that wasn’t my job.”

This year however, Reiner stepped up his game, something that Silvaggio has noticed.

“He use to just distribute the ball but now he’s looking to shoot more,” said Silvaggio. “If there is an open shot Max will take it while before he would hesitate and dish it off.”

Watching Reiner on the court, you can tell his a person who is comfortable in his own skin. He said he has learned to enjoy the game and leave all the trails and tribulations of the day on the sidelines.

“The court is my sanctuary,” said Reiner. “I used to bring everything on the court with me. Now, when I’m in between these lines, I only think about basketball and what I can do to help my team win. Basketball is once again fun.”

What makes it even more fun is being able to play with his younger, Grade 9 brother, Macaul.

“This is the first time we’ve played on the same team,” said Reiner. “I love playing with him. He’s one of my best friends.”

Watching the Reiner brothers playing on the same court, sharing the same ball, only one word comes to mind…electric.

Reiner said he plans on returning to Amherst for his fifth year, which mean another year of exciting basketball with him at the helm. Who knows what kind of mesmerizing feats Reiner will dazzle the crowd with next year, I for one can’t wait.

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