Despite wrist injuries that sidelined him for much of the season, Maine South water polo player Makai DeNeve-Arnam made significant contributions early on. At the Maine East tournament in March, DeNeve-Arnam scored 14 goals total, leading his team to the tournament title. Head coach Chris Deger says DeNeve-Arnam is currently Maine South’s best all-around water polo player in history.
Name: Makai DeNeve-Arnam
Age/year in school: 17/Junior
Hometown: Park Ridge
Sport: Water Polo
How long have you played water polo? 3 years
What do you love most about water polo?
The work that comes with it. When I know my game needs improvement, I go out and practice.
What was your biggest challenge this season? How did you overcome it?
Halfway into the season I sprained both wrists. To overcome it, I had to take time out to recover and sitting out was very hard for me to do.
What was your favorite moment of this season? Why?
Upsetting the fourth seed twice, once in conference and another in sectionals. I knew we were a better team, regardless of seedings.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?
[I] play my favorite music before a game. Music is gold!
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
Kobe Bryant. He is one of the greatest ball players ever and his work ethic and competitive mindset is above all else. I try to be as ruthless as him when I play. I try to get the “mamba face.”
If you didn’t play water polo, what would you be doing?
I would be playing basketball.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Adrian Peterson [Minnesota Vikings running back] because he had a torn ACL and still almost broke a single season rushing record. For him, the sky is the limit.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside water polo?
Playing basketball, creating beats, and hanging with the boys.
Favorite quote or words to live by:
“Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better, and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan
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