Feb 13, 2021

Former volleyball star Max Duran-Hentschel hopes to shine in the PBA

TROY Rosario and Russel Escoto are just two of the few PBA two-sport athletes.

Both dabbled in volleyball before indulging in basketball full-time.

There is no doubt playing volleyball helped them develop their leaping skills and benefitted them in the sport of basketball.

That should serve well, too, for Max Duran-Hentschel, one of the 97 aspirants in the coming PBA Draft, who also has a love affair with volleyball.

The Fil-German forward tried his hands in volleyball back during his time in Shanghai American School in China and was named as the MVP for the junior varsity team prompting him to pursue the sport until he graduated.

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"I took that as an inspiration to improve myself in the sport, and in my sophomore year, I made it to the varsity team as a starting middle, I played [volleyball] until the end of high school," he said.

Besides volleball, Duran-Hentschel also kept himself busy with his basketball -- one which he admits has always been his first love.

And the PBA, he explained, has always been his dream destination.

"I've always wanted to join the PBA. I was hoping to get some pro ball foundation in Europe and then, crossover to the PBA," said Duran-Hentschel, who suited up for BC Apollo Club while he was studying at University of Amsterdam.

Fast forward. The COVID-19 pandemic scuttled his plans and accelerated his path toward the PBA.

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As things stand now, the 6-foot-4 winger is one step closer to living his dream which started when mom Brigitte, a former women's basketball player in University of Santo Tomas, introduced him to the sport.

"One thing I've learned from her about playing basketball is that it does not matter how tall or short you are. What matters is that you play with all your heart and have the passion to be the best. She always told me that since God gave me the height, I should honor that gift by making good use of it."

Duran-Hentschel comes in as one of the youngest aspirants in the draft at age 22. But he's convinced that he's ready to seize this opportunity if he is selected.

"Personally, I think it would be amazing to be drafted by a team that is looking to rebuild because I would love to be a part of a rebuild and learn from more experienced players especially since I know I am one of the youngest," he said. (RL)