Prior to Chaska’s first basketball game of the season, Max Rain thought of which basketball player he admires and tries to model his style of play after.
Rain landed on Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, one of the league’s premier shooters from the three-point line. That choice proved to be appropriate.
Two months later, Rain had a Thompsonesque performance, knocking down 10 three-point shots to set a program record for most three-pointers in a single game in the Hawks’ 87-52 win over St. Louis Park Feb. 10.
“I just thought it was really cool, just all my teammates and the student section even getting at it,” Rain said about the atmosphere in the gym. “It’s just a really cool experience because once you hit one everyone’s super excited and that really helps you get going.”
Rain knew about the record before the season and had been close to reaching it in other games. He did not expect to reach it against the Orioles, however, as he said they were guarding him tighter in the second meeting after Rain scored 20 points in the first game.
“It was funny because after every one I hit later in the game I looked over at the bench and my teammates were yelling at me what number I had and how many more I had to go for the potential record,” Rain said. “So it was pretty fun seeing them help cheer me on.”
With the last name Rain, many basketball fans might think he was born to be a naturally strong shooter, but according to the senior guard, the recipe for having a good shot from distance involves several ingredients. Seeing the rim, squaring your hips, straightening your feet and following through on your shot are some things he focuses on, but the most important aspect is repetition.
“I just sit down sometimes and just shoot and shoot and shoot because that’s the biggest way to practice and get your form down,” Rain said. “And I feel like I’ve somewhat gotten to that point where I can shoot it pretty good,” Rain said.
Rain did not really start focusing on shooting from distance until seventh and eighth grade while playing travel basketball, but his shot is honed in now. When he was an underclassman, the Hawks did a three-point shooting drill during practice where players would continue shooting from one spot around the arc until they missed. Rain said he made 30 consecutive shots in that drill.
Hawks’ head coach Nick Hayes said it felt like Rain was going to break the record at some point during his senior season based on the amount of work he has put in at practices and how he has improved in different areas of his game.
“It was so fun to see Max have a record breaking game,” Hayes said. “I’m so proud of Max for all of his hard work & the leader he’s been for us this season. It is both very cool & well-deserved that he now has his name in the Chaska Basketball record books.”
Chaska (9-13) is in the middle of the pack of the Metro West Conference with a 5-5 record after beating Chanhassen 71-68 in a tight overtime win. It was the third straight win for the Hawks, who now have four more regular season games before the start of the section 2AAAA tournament March 8.