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.

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