CHICAGO – He’s only two years removed from his high school days in the northwest suburbs, but on Thursday, a native of Arlington Heights officially became a professional basketball player.

Former Rolling Meadows High School star Max Christie was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 35th overall pick in the second round of the NBA Draft. The guard was on hand at the selections at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and was greeted on stage by NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum.

“It feels really, really good just to have my dream come true,” said Christie to reporters on Thursday night. “I’m really living my dream, so it feels really, really good. That’s the only thing I can sum up. I have a lot of emotions right now.”

A five-star recruit in the Class of 2021 with the Mustangs where he earned the Chicago Sun Times, Champaign News-Gazette, and Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year Awards, Christie played one season at Michigan State.

In 35 games, all of which were starts, the guard averaged 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game as the Spartans advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Christie now joins a veteran Lakers’ team that features stars like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis. It will be a time of change as new head coach Darvin Ham takes over a team that missed the playoffs in 2021-2022.

“It’s amazing. It’s surreal. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony — the list goes on,” said Christie on joining the Lakers. “A bunch of great names, a bunch of great players on the Lakers team. I think I can learn a lot and get a lot better in that organization.”