Remember Max Hoetzel, a little-used freshman forward on the 2014-15 Indiana team?
Well, he’s at San Diego State now, and he has a new last name.
And it’s awesome.
Former IU forward Max Hoetzel is now Max Montana: https://t.co/i3qie94Eay— Alex Bozich (@insidethehall) October 12, 2017
So why did Max - now a junior at SDSU - decide to change his last name from Hoetzel to Montana? Well, per the San Diego Union-Tribune, it was his middle name to start:
His German father, Holger Hoetzel, and Danish mother, Heidi, visited Montana when they first moved to America and, according to Max, “both fell in love with the state.” So much that they gave Max and his two sisters the middle name of Montana.
But his dad always said the option was there to change it:
“My dad had issues with people spelling his (last) name wrong, pronouncing it wrong,” Max said. “You have to speak German to pronounce it correctly. There’s almost like an ‘r’ sound in there. Even I can’t say it correctly … So he wanted to give us the option to change our middle name to our last name.”
According to Max, this was the time to make the switch. Max isn’t the only one in his family who’s changing the name either. This is a family affair:
“It’s something my family and I have been talking about since I was very young,” he said. “It’s always been there. I went through the process a few years ago where I was thinking about changing it but I never felt like it was the right time. Right now feels like the right time.
“My parents are very supportive. It was their idea in the first place.”
This time, it was a collective decision. Both his sisters are switching to Montana as well.
So if you find yourself watching some late-night Mountain West basketball this winter, and see a familiar-looking guy playing for the Aztecs, that’s the same dude who was once a reserve for the Hoosiers.
Except he’s no longer Max Hoetzel.
He’s now Max Montana.
Montana, a 6-9 forward from Calabasas, California, averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last season while starting 10 games for the Aztecs.
This all begs the question - if you were to change your last name to a state, which state would you choose?