Maximus is currently 14 years old and a sophomore in high school. He is a bright, cheerful, and energetic young man who is happiest when playing sports and engaging in physical activities.
Max developed typically as an infant and toddler, meeting all milestones for crawling, walking, running and jumping. However, at 2 1/2 years old, he had sudden difficulty standing and walking. An MRI revealed a spinal cord tumor and an emergency laminectomy was performed. Following the surgery, he was paralyzed from the waist down. After years of therapy and hard work, Max was fortunate enough to experience significant gains in his recovery. While a manual wheelchair is his main source
of mobility, he is able to ambulate with AFO leg braces and crutches.
In addition to therapy, adaptive sports played an enormous role in Max’s recovery. As a young, rambunctious child, he needed an outlet for his boundless energy. Max has played sled hockey, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair racing. However, his favorite sport is wheelchair tennis. His journey began at the USTA National Tennis Center in 2016, where he began training with Coach Aki Wolfson, now the Tennis Director of the Commonpoint Queens Tennis and Athletic Center.
“Maximus began attending weekly wheelchair tennis clinics at 9 years old and enjoyed it so much that he began taking private lessons with Coach Aki. Coach Aki has worked hard to train Max these past few years, bringing him from a novice beginner to the #2 ranked junior wheelchair tennis player in the country. Maximus was honored to represent Team USA in Sardinia, Italy at the World Team Cup 2021, and also received a spot on the USTA High Performance Team. We are so thankful that Commonpoint and Coach Aki have brought wheelchair tennis to our community because adaptive sports can change lives!” said Max’s mom Clarissa.
For more information on our wheelchair tennis program at the Commonpoint Queens Tennis and Athletic Center, visit Commonpointqueens.org/tennis.
This story is part of our Spring 2023 newsletter – click here to read it.