Basketball Speaks To Max Margulis



Anyone who’s ever sat in the stands at a sporting event (or sat on a couch, watching one on TV) and dreamed about being involved in the action should talk to Max Margulis, GM Max’s All Stars. A native New Yorker and a lifelong sports fan, Margulis got to college at Hofstra and wanted to do more than just watch. He wanted to be involved. So, he started an intramural basketball team.

“I was homeschooled on and off during my years up until I got to college. And so, I wanted very much to be part of an organized sports team,” Margulis told TBT. “I wanted to run my team, but I didn’t really have the opportunity to do that because I was homeschooled. So, when I went to Hofstra, basketball was the only sport that seemed real to me. It was 5 on 5 basketball. The same way you would play it on a varsity team or something like that. I wanted it to be organized and real. I didn’t want to play Ultimate Frisbee or something like that. I wanted to play a sport like everybody else did. And basketball spoke to me.”

That intramural team, which Margulis organized by handing out flyers and approaching strangers in a gym, made the Hofstra intramural semifinals that first semester. Margulis later turned the squad into the first club basketball team in Hofstra history and kept it up all through college. After graduating from Hofstra with a degree in electrical engineering, at a point when most people put away their college obsessions and turn to other things, Max continued to pursue his passion. The team continued, with Max at the helm. And as one player drifted away, another player, usually someone better, would take his place. Over the course of a couple seasons in New York’s famed summer circuit, the Hofstra Club Basketball Team became Max’s All Stars.

It’s tempting to assume that naming a team after oneself is an act indicative of self-importance, but listening to the players on Max’s team talk about Max, and hearing Max talk about his team, you get the exact opposite impression.  “To be honest with you, Max has presented one of the most awesome opportunities that I ever thought would come along in my life. I feel like Max said, ‘I want to be involved in basketball. I don’t care if I play. I love basketball and I just want to be a part of it,” says Troy Whittington who was the NESCAC, NABC Northeast, and Northeast Player of the Year and an NABC First Team All-America his senior season (2011) at Williams College.

What other name could this team have? They’re “Max’s All Stars” because Margulis has carried this team, this idea, with him since the day he willed it into existence as a freshman at Hofstra. If they make it into The Basketball Tournament, on their second try, expect to see a talented, energetic team that personifies the desire and pluck that built the team to begin with.