Shaun Scott, staff photo Mercer Island Islanders 2013 graduate Max Tilden returns to the basketball court after being away from the game for three seasons.

Lowering the boom in the low post

After a three-year hiatus, Mercer Island High School 2013 graduate Max Tilden is finally back on the basketball court.

Tilden, who attended Washington State University after graduating from high school three years ago, is in his first year of collegiate basketball with the Bellevue Bulldogs during the 2016-17 season. Once Tilden enrolled at Bellevue College he began to ponder the idea of returning to the sport he loved ever since he was a kid.

“I came back just to go to school at Bellevue and then I figured I might as well play basketball while going to school here too,” Tilden said with a smile. “I didn’t move back for basketball but it is definitely nice to be playing again.”

Tilden, who is one of four 21-year-old players on the Bulldogs roster, likes the coaching style of Bulldogs’ head coach Jeremy Eggers.

“He is a great coach. You just got to be ready to play hard. He lets you know when you’re doing good enough and when you’re not doing good enough. He is honest,” Tilden said.

The 6-foot, 7-inch Tilden is an old school kind of player. In modern day basketball, a sizable number of taller players enjoy perfecting their games from the perimeter instead of playing in the low post.

Tilden isn’t one of those players.

“I love playing in the paint. My favorite part about basketball is just rebounding and being physical with people, I love playing inside,” Tilden said. “If I get the ball anywhere near 15 feet or further out I’m probably just passing it. It is a combination that I like to play inside and I really don’t have a shot to play on the outside.”

Recently the Reporter had an opportunity to ask Tilden a few questions about his life away from the basketball court.

Mercer Island Reporter: What is your favorite eatery on Mercer Island?

Max Tilden: The Qdoba on the north end of the island. I have been going there forever and they have great burritos. I love it.

MIR: Who was your idol growing up?

MT: My dad. He is just a really hardworking guy. He has great values and he always sticks to them, which is easy to respect.

MIR: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?

MT: Barack Obama. It would be interesting to talk with the guy who was president of the United States these past eight years.

MIR: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?

MT: I like to try very interesting foods whenever I go to places. I always order the most interesting thing on the menu just to try it out.

MIR: How many text messages do you send per day?

MT: I try to stay off the phone as much as possible.

MIR: What is your favorite movie of all time?

MT: I would probably go with “Goodwill Hunting” or “Dead Poets Society.” I’m a big Robin Williams fan.

More in Sports

Maya Virdell, left, and Susie Lepow, right, will compete at the USATF Nationals Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships, which take place from July 22-28 in Sacramento, California. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island Cross Country Booster Club
Mercer Island athletes compete at USATF Region 13 track and field championships in Tacoma

Maya Virdell and Susie Lepow will travel to California for Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships.

Mercer Island Islanders boys basketball player Nigel Seda, left, drives to the hoop in a game against the Interlake Saints during the 2018-19 season. Seda will be one of four returners to the starting lineup during the 2019-20 season. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders prove their mettle at Gonzaga team camp

Mercer Island Islanders boys basketball squad is an experienced group.

Mercer Island Islanders 2019 graduate Teague Conder (pictured) will continue his baseball career at Whitman College in Walla Walla. Photo courtesy of Teague Conder
Conder to continue baseball career at Whitman College

Former Mercer Island third baseman embraces the action.

Peacocks roam the neighborhood of Beards Cove in sportswriter Shaun Scott’s childhood hometown of Belfair. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Running alongside a beautiful creature

Peacocks roam the streets of the neighborhood I grew up in.

Arabella Chapman earned the top spot on the podium in the 55-pound weight class at the 2019 Women’s National Championships and World Team trials. Photo courtesy of Connie Chapman
Chapman earns a gold medal on the wrestling mat

Northwood Elementary School student dominates opponents.

Mercer Island quarterback Clay Dippold completes a set of reps on the squat rack in the weight room on June 14. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Seasoned signal caller leads Islanders

Field general Clay Dippold is stoked for his senior season.

Mercer Island Islanders senior football player Bryce Fitzwilson utilizes speed and quickness on the gridiron. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Controlling the edge with speed and quickness

Stalwart defensive end Bryce Fitzwilson leads by example.

Mercer Island girls lacrosse players Grace Fujinaga, Annabelle Gersch and Hannah Tiscornia hold the state championship trophy following their 10-9 victory against Bainbridge Island in the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association championship game on May 17. Photo courtesy of Kathy Gersch
Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez, left, and Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone, right, collaborated on a book titled, “Edgar: An Autobiography.” Martinez and Stone attended a book signing on June 12 at Barnes Noble in Bellevue. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Legendary Mariner meets a plethora of fans

Edgar Martinez visits Bellevue Barnes & Noble to promote his book.

Mercer Island resident Michael Magnussen has competed in all six of the marathon majors in the world since 2016. Magnussen clocked a time of 2:56.21 at the London Marathon in May. This past February, Magnussen finished with a time of 2:55.40 in the Tokyo Marathon. Photo courtesy of Theresa Magnussen
Running is a way of life for Magnussen

Hard work and determination pays dividends for avid Mercer Island runner.

Mercer Island Islanders sophomore Tegan Yuasa is currently the top-ranked male 55-kilogram athlete in the sport of Judo. Yuasa will compete at the Cadet World Championships, which will take place from Sept. 25-29 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo courtesy of Mark Yuasa
Yuasa earns first place in the USA Judo Elite Senior National Championships

Mercer Island High School sophomore Tegan Yuasa captured first place in the… Continue reading

The Mercer Island FC Maroon girls soccer team earned a 2-1 victory against the PacNW Blue in the President’s Cup D2 championship contest May 12. Photo courtesy of Tom Hill
Maroon girls soccer team completes journey with a championship

Teamwork propels Maroon soccer team to third title in five seasons.