Ricardo Maxwell is a senior guard for the Western men’s basketball team and will be playing for his second varsity letter this year. The Cincinnati native sat down with The Western Front to talk about his passion for basketball, his path to Western and the current season.
Q: Being a kid from Cincinnati, how did you end up at Western?
A: Actually I signed Division I, but I had a visit [during my year] at Edmonds Community College and I told Coach Dominguez if I couldn’t go Division I then I would come to Western. I couldn’t go Division I so I kept my word and came to Western.
Q: Did Dominguez recruit you out of high school?
A: No, he recruited me from my junior college at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood and that was the first time I met him. He would always come to my games no matter if I said I couldn’t come [to Western]. He just kept coming to the games.
Q: How did you find out about Edmonds Community College?
A: Well, my junior year of high school I came to Seattle and I was training with University of Washington and Seattle University. I went to North Seattle Community College for an open gym and they asked me [if I was going to come] to their school. They didn’t know I was still in high school. So they told me if I don’t end up going Division I that I could [go here]. At the time I didn’t know what community college was. But since I couldn’t go Division I, I went North Seattle and the coach there left and went to Edmonds so I followed him there.
Q: How did you get into basketball?
A: My older brother was actually one of the best players in the country at the time and I just followed off what he did, but baseball was actually my first sport.
Q: What other sports did you grow up playing?
A: I played baseball, football, basketball, ran track and boxed.
Q: How long did you play those?
A: Up until high school, and baseball I played up until I think AA or AAA.
Q: What made you pick basketball over all the others?
A: Basketball was just my passion, really. I was a smaller kid though, so when I was younger I wasn’t the best player all the time. I had the talent but I wasn’t really there yet because I was a lot smaller, and I wasn’t that smart so I trained three times a day. When I started high school, that’s when I started taking basketball seriously — I didn’t start organized basketball until the seventh or eighth grade.
Q: How do you like Western and the city of Bellingham?
A: It’s a lot different than what I’m used to. It’s very green compared to what I’m used to, the weather is not humid at all, but the campus and everything is nice. Everyone shows me love so I appreciate that.
Q: What’s your training schedule look like outside of team practices?
A: I do my own individual workout whenever I have time in between classes. I try to go to the gym and work on cardio. I always run the track and the treadmill whenever I can depending on whether I have homework.
Q: What would you say is your role on the team?
A: I feel my role is just doing whatever is necessary to win. If my team needs me to score I feel I can provide that, and if my team needs me to pass and be that vocal leader then I can provide that. If I need to play defense on whoever scores the most points, I can do that. As a captain I feel I should be able to accomplish that goal.
Q: How were the games in Hawaii you recently played?
A: Hawaii is nice, a lot of people on our team aren’t used to the humidity so we had to go hard in practice to get our bodies ready because we were sweating when we walked into the gym. It’s about 80 degrees here.
Q: With the season just starting to get underway, what is a game that fans definitely don’t want to miss and why?
A: I would say the Seattle Pacific University game [on Saturday, Dec. 5] because that’s a big game for us and we beat them two times last year and they finally got us in the championship game. We just want to dominate them at all costs. And also the Central Washington University game [on Thursday, Feb. 18].