MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Central Michigan freshman guard Max Majerle loved his first college basketball season in Mount Pleasant.
"It's awesome," Majerle said. "It's everything I dreamed of."
Majerle is a big-time dreamer and already in his short time in school, he has made an impact.
"He's a fiery competitor," Central Michigan head coach Tony Barbee said. "From day one, he doesn't back down from anything. Every time he touches the court, he's ready to compete."
That competitive drive came from his dad, who just so happens to be CMU legend and former NBA Star Dan Majerle.
Majerle committed to Central Michigan without even visiting campus, just because he knew how much his dad loved the University.
"I grew up with pressure throughout my life because of my dad," Majerle said.
Now, it's his dad who is feeling the pressure. The two talk all the time, at least twice a day.
Every time Dan watches the Chippewas play as a father, he paces in his Phoenix home. Dan never misses a game on TV. He says his son's games make him more anxious than any game he ever played in the NBA.
"The most nervous of my life," Dan said. "Honestly, I am so proud of him because of what he has been able to accomplish so far."
Max got the starting nod in 17 games as a freshman and averaged four points per game in his first experience with college basketball, but it was not just the name on the back of his jersey that looked familiar.
"I was more concerned about him," Dan said. "I wanted him to make his own path."
Max received Central Michigan's and his father's blessing to un-retire Thunder Dan's historic number 44 from the rafters of McGuirk Arena. Now, Max gets to wear his dad's number every time he steps on the floor.
"They asked me, 'Do you want to change your number for sure?'" Max said. "I was like, 'Yeah, let's go 44.' I remember I called my dad. I asked, 'How do you feel about that?' He said, 'That's awesome. If you are ready for it, take it.' I was like, 'I got it.'"
All Dan has now is a big smile on his face.
"When I see the games and there is a 44 and a Majerle running up the floor, it's pretty cool," Dan said.
Like father, like son.
"I think about it a lot too," Max said. "Same school. Same number my dad wore. It's almost like I am a mini-him on the court. It's pretty cool."
Just like his dad at Central, Max hopes to leave his own legacy and continue to grow as a Chippewa.
"I just want to grow as a person and be more mature," Max said. "Help my teammates out next year when I am a little older. They'll be new freshman here. I want to be known as someone who is a leader on and off the court."
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