KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the even of the NBA Finals, former Kansas guard Christian Braun looks to join an exclusive club by winning an NCAA Championship and an NBA title in back-to-back years.
Only four players have achieved the rare feat.
The wall of pictures in the Braun household is getting full with all the accolades of their sons. Landon’s playing at Omaha, Parker’s about to play at KU but Christian’s pics are taking up more room because in his first year he’s headed to the NBA Finals.
“It’s been fantastic, I mean, what more could you wish for,” Christian Braun’s mom Lisa said.
Christian’s been around championships, winning at Blue Valley Northwest and winning a National Championship at KU, then once drafted to the NBA — he’s been pressed into action early.
“Definitely has been a dream come true, certainly more than we ever imagined or hoped for and we’re enjoying every minute of it,” Christian’s father Don said. “He always had a little bit of dog in him. Little bit of fight in him. Little bit of aggressiveness in him and you could see that at any age.”
“We weren’t expecting him, as a rookie to go in and play very much,” Lisa said. But, we went up for the beginning of the year and he was getting substantial minutes.”
“I’ve been more impressed with his mental capacity, his patience,” Don said. “With the ups and downs of the NBA season, its’ a grind and winning minutes, he’s had to patience.”
Braun appeared in 76 games this season and averaged 16 minutes per game .. not showing any fear going up against the best.
“I think he keeps it in check, even though I’m sure, like Lebron’s he’s favorite player and top be on the same court with him or when it’s Steph Curry, or when he guards Durant. He seems to keep his head pretty well,” Lisa said.
And after defeating Durant’s Suns and Lebron’s Lakers, now, the Final. Lisa Braun says she’s visited her son in Denver 7-8 times — and they’ll both be in attendance for the first Finals games. All with plenty support in the community.
“I have a bunch of friends who never even watched the NBA and they’re avid watchers,” Lisa said. “They’re not really NBA fans but they’re Christian Braun fans. We feel really blessed that he’s had all that support around him.”
And hope to see their son come home with another title. One just under 50 players in history to win a college title and an NBA title.
“I think we got a real good chance of bringing this home and winning this so we’re just letting things happen as they go,” Don said.