LAWRENCE, Kan. — You followed them when they were young. You followed them when they were growing up in Lawrence, Kansas. Now, former Kansas Jayhawks Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji are representing Kansas City in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Christian Braun, who went to Blue Valley Northwest, will be joined by his parents and his high school coach Ed Fritz, among others, in New York City.

“We only hope, we bring them up to be pros. If you’re playing at this level, you’re playing to be a pro and doing the best you can,” Donnie Braun said.

“Toe see him develop, all my kids work hard and I think it’s paying off,” Lisa Braun said.

“He’s improved every year, when he went to KU, he was known as a shooter and now I think his defense has been good. He has such good reach. He rebounds as good as any guard in America,” Fritz said.

Ochai Agbaji was invited to the Green Room in NYC. He’s predicted to be a lottery pick in some mock drafts. His family will be there with him and so will his Oak Park family. Many coaches and administrators are making the trip. They wouldn’t miss it.

“Really excited to go up there to New York with some of the coaching staff. It’s cool to see him grow up as the 7th grader at Antioch Middle School through the soccer program for me and then the basketball program under Coach Scanlon. And to follow his rise at KU and then the NBA is just a special thing for us,” said soccer coach Josh Howard.

“He’s had to grind and work for everything he’s got and I think that’s what makes his story so remarkable. You dream of coaching a player like that and I’ll probably never coach another guy like him,” said basketball coach Brendan Scanlon.

“It’s gives our school someone to look up too. Someone that says ‘Hey, work hard and you’ll be able to compete at the highest level.’ Guys from this area have done it, and you can do it, too,” Howard said.

The NBA Draft is Thursday night, June 23.

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