Strus was born in 1996 in Hickory Hills, Illinois to John and Debra Strus. Both parents, along with an older brother and older sister, participated in various college sports. His mother was a two-sport star at DePaul and a member of their Athletic Hall of Fame. Strus went to Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills, Illinois, where he played both basketball and baseball all four years. During his senior season, he went on to average 19 points and nine rebounds. He received a Division I offer from Chicago State University but opted to join Division II Lewis University. You can follow Strus on Instagram (@maxstrus).