Redshirt junior guard B.J. Maxwell, like many college athletes, fought hard to become as talented as he is today.
“I started playing organized basketball in fourth grade,” Maxwell said. “I’ve always been around the game of basketball whether I was with my cousins or brother.”
However, for a portion of Maxwell’s life, he took a path that most Div. 1 athletes never take.
During his senior year of high school, he moved from Austin to Oklahoma, where he was homeschooled.
“It opened my eyes,” Maxwell said. “I had a misconception of homeschooling in my head and what the kids would be like [on the homeschool basketball team], but honestly it’s no different from being in a public school. The kids who are homeschooled actually have a better mindset, in my opinion, and I really enjoyed being homeschooled.”
Maxwell finished his high school career with the OKC Storm, where he played alongside Wildcat redshirt junior center Jalone Friday. The duo led the team to its third straight national championship in the 2014-15 season. Maxwell averaged 19 points, four rebounds and three assists per game with the Storm his senior season and was named National Homeschool Player of the Year.
Maxwell’s first three seasons with the Wildcats were very different from this season. His first year, he was redshirted to help develop his game and give him another year of eligibility. For the first two seasons he was on the court, his time was limited, and he averaged three points per game with two rebounds. But he kept showing progress, particularly with his rebounding ability.
This year, Maxwell has started the majority of his games, averaging nine points and is second on the team with five rebounds per game. He is shooting 48 percent from the field and leading the team at the free throw line with an 85 percent efficiency.
“Staying aggressive and getting in a routine has contributed to my success on the court,” Maxwell said. “This past summer, my assistant coaches gave us a workout routine and being consistent as possible with that really helped. Another thing that’s important to me and the rest of the team is to trust the process.”
Outside of basketball, Maxwell is like many other college students. He loves to play video games, be around his friends as much as possible, binge-watch Netflix and hang out with his teammates.
Many college athletes always have a dream to go pro and make it all the way. Maxwell is no different.
“I’d really like to play professional basketball after college and after a career like that, I’d want to be a sports commentator,” Maxwell said.
While this is his fourth year in college, Maxwell said he is “certain” he will return again next year.
The Wildcats are sitting at 19-4 on the season and are only two games back from first place in the conference. ACU’s goal from the beginning of the season has been to win the conference.
“We have to take every game one at a time and show up to play every night, because in this league, anybody can beat anybody on a given night,” Maxwell said. “This conference constantly gets better and more competitive.”
The Wildcats will have one of their most important games of the season this Saturday as they face Sam Houston State, who currently sits at first place in the conference.
The Wildcats played the Bearcats on Jan. 5 in Huntsville, where they fell short 71-68. This matchup could ultimately decide who is crowned regular season champion as the final month of play begins.
The game tips off at 6 p.m. in Moody Coliseum and can be streamed on ESPN3.