After a stellar high school career with the Neelin Spartans, Brandon's Max Winters will be making the jump to the university ranks with his hometown Bobcats.

The 6-foot-8 forward recently signed a letter of intent, becoming the first recruit for the BU men's basketball team for the 2023-24 season.

"Honestly, making the decision is a huge weight of my shoulders and it feels great," says Winters.

"There's a lot of thinking in deciding where to go because I want to pursue both sports and academics, so it's a great feeling to know that I will be able to do both."

After helping the Spartans to back-to-back city titles in which Winters stood out due to his size and inside presence, the product of Brandon's George Fitton elementary school is set to graduate this spring as a Basketball Manitoba Graduating All-Star.

Max Winters scored 35 points in Neelin's semifinal win over Transcona to secure a spot at provincials

This comes after Winters was a key piece to the Spartans' AAA Manitoba Provincial Championship in his grade 11 season. 

"We are excited for Max's potential. He was a very good shot blocker in high school and active around the paint. Max was able to change a lot of shots, and loved how much he's improved over the past few seasons," says Bobcats coach Gil Cheung.

Winters' academic pursuits align with Brandon University as well, as the Advance Placement student plans to pursue a degree in BU's Faculty of Arts. 

When asked what got him to the next level, he's quick to give credit to Neelin team mates and coaching staff which includes legendary coach and BU alum Don Thomson.

"He's a big part of the reason why I'm where I am today. I couldn't have done it without him. Even during Covid, he was there to make sure we kept developing as a group and as individuals."

"Going into high school basketball was pretty new to me, but with my team mates and coaches it made it easy to learn in that environment.”

"Coach Thomson has done a good job of preparing him to play post secondary basketball as well. He has the upside and the frame to be able to compete at the U Sports level. Coach Nohr has been instrumental in his recruitment and we are all very excited for Max to be a Bobcat," Cheung adds. 

Winters played volleyball at Neelin as well and is a product of the Bobcats Basketball Academy where he was coached by BU women's assistant coach Juan Mosquera.

With the decision to pursue hoops at the next level, he's looking forward to the next step in his journey.

"Going to practice every day and training and competing with a great group of guys, and getting better every day by learning from them. Obviously the victories are one thing, but the journey and enjoying it are what I'm looking forward to most."


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