Max Shacknai was a young talented player in the Blackhawks program who tragically lost his life in July 2011. The first word out of Max’s mouth as a baby was "ball.” His love of sports - soccer in particular - was known throughout the Scottsdale soccer community. Max was introduced to the Scottsdale Soccer world on the sidelines, watching his older brother and sister participate actively. Max was a fixture at their games, dribbling the ball up and down the sidelines, and shooting goals during halftime. He befriended quickly the younger siblings of other Blackhawks players and looked forward to hanging out and playing soccer with them at each game.
Max began formal playing in the “Tiny Tots” program, where he was the youngest player at 22 months. Following a stint as the youngest player in the St. Francis league, Max was ready to begin his career as a Scottsdale Soccer rec player. Over two seasons, Max scored over 40 goals, and was a leader on his team. During the 2010-11 season, Max was invited to play up as a Blackhawk, even though the other players on his squad were one or two years older than he. At each practice and in each game, Max - Number 6 - demonstrated enthusiasm for the sport and an intense drive to win. Max was very well liked by fellow players and coaches in the Blackhawks program, and respected for his intensity, coupled with a great sense of camaraderie and humor. His friends and teammates appreciated Max’s empathy, kindness, and generosity of spirit. His signature wide smile, beckoned new friends of all ages into his world.
Max was excited to rejoin his rec friends as they advanced to the ’05 Blackhawks for the 2011-2012 seasons. Max was believed to be an excellent young prospect in the Blackhawks program, with a very bright future in the sport.
Max is remembered by the Blackhawks through the Blackhawks Max Shacknai Invitational tournament, which provides a showcase for soccer excellence and the character and athletic development it represents.