Feb 3rd 2020

Max Hisatake Is at Home in Crown Hall and on the Court

The architecture studio and the basketball court might seem like disparate places, but for Max Hisatake (B.ARCH. 4th Year), he’s made a home of both. Since coming to Illinois Institute of Technology to play for the Scarlett Hawks’ men’s basketball team and study in S. R. Crown Hall at the College of Architecture, Hisatake has excelled in both the built world and basketball.

Most recently, he received national honors for his basketball skills, being named to the D3Hoops.com Men's Basketball Team of the Week on January 14 for his play the week prior. He is the first Scarlet Hawks player to earn the honor.

“Students in architecture and, people in the field itself, they have this great work ethic, and I think for me that translates to the court,” says Hisatake. “I don’t want to take shortcuts in studio and I want to hold myself accountable and do that same routine on the court.”

Basketball and architecture have always been two passions for Hisatake, ever since shooting hoops on the half court in his backyard after school as a kid and building a wire model of the Burj Khalifa in his sixth-grade art class. Knowing he wanted to pursue both passions in college, he reached out to the coaches of several schools across the United States; he heard back from Scarlet Hawks men's basketball coach Todd Kelly, who invited him to Illinois Tech for a recruit weekend.

Upon visiting, Hisatake had the opportunity to meet Tom Roszak, a College of Architecture alumnus and a prominent Chicago architect, and he would eventually work as an intern at his firm.

“That was really valuable—to this day we still share a lot of great memories and conversations, and I had the opportunity to shadow him onsite, so that’s something that’s gone from a simple conversation to a life-long relationship and friendship,” says Hisatake.

After graduating, Hisatake hopes he can take his duality into the professional realm, playing basketball either in the NBA or in international leagues and then having a successful architecture practice afterward. 

“Going to Illinois Tech allowed me to harness both talents, and both skills, and allowed me to flourish in them. I’ve always been a hard worker, and now I’ve been able to focus on both areas in a very systematic culture,” he says. “Here, the systems are great. We learn from some of the best architects in the city, and as athletes we are given the tools to succeed in whatever we put our minds to and work hard toward.”