Q&A: Meet NBA draft prospect Olivier-Maxence Prosper, who says he is 'somebody that is electric'

Marquette junior wing Olivier-Maxence Prosper, also known as O-Max, is an intriguing NBA draft prospect originally from Montreal.

Prosper, who measured just short of 6-foot-7 in socks with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, was one of the biggest standouts at the 2023 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. We have Prosper as a projected top-20 pick in our latest 2023 NBA Mock Draft.

When he meets with NBA teams during the pre-draft process, he told For The Win during a recent video interview that there is one thing that he wants to make clear.

“I want them to know that I’m going to leave everything on the floor to win. I’m a competitor. I’m a hard worker,” explained Prosper, who played a crucial role in leading Marquette to win its first-ever Big East Conference title.

Prosper, who attended the NBA Academy and speaks four languages, knows what he wants to see come next in his journey.

“I feel like my body is ready. I feel like my basketball skills are ready,” Prosper said. “I feel like I’m in the best position to go out there and do my thing.”

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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How did you fall in love with the game of basketball?

O-Max Prosper: I grew up around the game. Both my parents played college basketball. My mom played one year on the national team for Team Canada. I was that little kid on the side hoops when they were playing in their senior leagues. I’ve been around it since I can remember and growing up, I was both a basketball player and a soccer player. I played both sports.

But as I got older, I started to gravitate more toward basketball. That’s what makes me the most joyful and when you have something that makes you as joyful as that, you have to go after it and try to make it your living. You want to do what you love. I love this game so much. I want to make it my profession and see where it takes me.

What did you learn growing up playing alongside Indiana's Bennedict Mathurin?

NBA Academy

O-Max: Benn is my guy. We’ve known each other since we were like 12 years old. We played AAU together. We played at NBA Academy together. I always believed he was capable of doing that. We always believed we were capable of doing that. We always talked about this and going to the NBA and showing everybody what we can do. We were never highly touted or highly ranked but we knew what we could do. For him, it’s showing right now.

For me, it’s only a matter of time. I’m coming. I believe I will do what he is doing. Everybody is on his own time. For him, it was this year. I feel like I will be that guy next year. I will show everybody that thinks, “Oh, who is this kid? I didn’t know about this kid.” Yeah, that’s O-Max Prosper. I feel like I will be that guy this next NBA season.

Where does your winning mentality come from?

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

O-Max: It just comes from my passion for the game. I love this game. I deeply care about winning. Where I come from, Montreal, it’s getting better. But you didn’t see a lot of guys going to play Division I or the NBA. I got that chip on my shoulder that I’m going to win and I’m going to show them that I can go out there and help my team win even if it doesn’t always show as the most points, the most assists, or rebounds.

My contribution to the team is extremely valuable and that’s the type of player that I am. That’s the way I play the game. That’s the way I feel about the game. You can’t cheat this game. You got to go out there all-in and leave it all on the floor and that’s who I am and that’s what I’m all about.

How do you feel your offense will scale to the next level?

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O-Max: On the offensive end, they’re going to see somebody that is electric. I love to run. I love to push the ball. I love to play in transition and get up and dunk and catch alley-oops. I can also stretch the floor and shoot catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. The biggest thing is a lot more spacing in the NBA, which is going to be to my favor. I’m not going to be the primary ball handler. I’m going to play off the ball and play out of closeouts when I get the ball. With all the space, I’ll be able to attack driving lanes and get to the rim and use my length and quickness and size and athleticism and get fouled a lot. I’m really good at getting fouled. I was drawing a lot of fouls this year in college. They call those even more in the NBA. If someone wants to close out short, I’m going to shoot it and knock it down.

Also, I’m a big-time offensive rebounder. They’re never going to see me coming. I’m going to crash the glass every single time. I had one game-winner in college off an offensive rebound. Those little things, that’s the type of player that they can expect from day one. As I grow and continue to develop my game, I’ll become what I believe I can become, which is an All-Star.

What factors make you such an impactful defender?

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

O-Max: Utilizing my length and my 7-foot-1 wingspan and bother guards and their shot. When I get there, when they’re right-handed shooters, I contest with my left hand and when they’re left-handed shooters, I contest with my right hand. What that does is that the hand you contest with blocks their line of vision and you’re likely to contest it better. It’s called the dot hand. That helps me contest shots better. A lot of people don’t even shoot 3-pointers when I’m guarding them because they know that I will contest it really well. I take a lot of pride in that. I can bring that defensive identity to a team that maybe hasn’t had a good defense.

What are some goals you may have for yourself on or off the court?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

O-Max: On the court, God-willing, I want to play 15 to 20 years in this league and make the most of it. On the floor, my biggest thing is to win as many championships as I can. I want to win. I believe I can become an All-Star and an All-NBA player. The Olympics is something I’ve always wanted to play in as well and the Olympic experience. You hear about that and I would love to do that at some point.

Off the floor, I just want to build my brand as much as possible so I can help as many people as I can. I want to build my own foundation and have my own business so I can give back to the people and give people to my community in Montreal. I remember me being a young kid that was looking for someone to look up to as an inspiration. I wanted someone to help me with the resources. I want to use that to help leverage basketball in Montreal. I feel it is my responsibility.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

O-Max: My youngest sister Cassandre. She is 17 and plays at Notre Dame. She reclassified early and played this last season. The impact she and I have and the bond we have, I want to shout her out because she is a big part of my life and helps me be the best version of myself. She is going to be a star. I’m telling you right now. Look out for her.

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