BVNWnews file photo
Near the end of sixth hour in the Auxiliary Gym, senior guard Christian Braun announced his commitment to the University of Kansas on a full-ride scholarship, beginning in the 2019-20 season. In communication with Kansas head coach Bill Self since July, Braun said the decision was a no brainer when he first received the offer.
“That’s always been my plan for myself. I’ve always wanted to be a Jayhawk,” Braun said. “It means a lot to be committed to the best basketball program in the country.”
After seeing his brother, Parker Braun, who made the decision to walk on at the University of Missouri this May, undergo the recruitment process, Braun decided to commit early to Kansas.
“I watched Parker struggle through the recruiting process,” Braun said. “Him going through it and having to wait so long made me want to get it done early.”
With Braun’s choice to play basketball at the University of Kansas, every member of the Braun family who has graduated high school will have played or will play NCAA Division I college basketball. The Braun house is a house divided. Braun and his father will both have played at the University of Kansas, while Parker and his mother will have played for the University of Missouri.
Despite his family being split between the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri, Braun said his family was supportive of his decision to play at KU.
“My family played a really big part in it,” Braun said. “My dad went to KU and my mom went to Mizzou, but they were both pretty excited when I got the opportunity to go to KU.”
Commenting on the Blue Valley Northwest basketball program, Braun said he owes it to head basketball coach Ed Fritz for pushing him to where he is now. As the first player to commit to the University of Kansas from BVNW, Fritz said Braun’s size and being a multi-faceted player set him apart from other high school athletes.
“[Braun] has the height. Having a 6’6”, 6’7” point guard is pretty unusual,” Fritz said. “He [also] does a lot of things really well. He’s a good passer, he’s a good rebounder, he’s a good shooter, so he has a lot of qualities that colleges like.”
From first seeing Braun as a freshman, to where he is today, Fritz said the change in Braun has been night and day. Likewise, BVNW Athletic Director Kevin Gerke said he would have never expected Braun to commit to a Big 12 school, let alone University of Kansas.
“I was talking to Christian just a while ago [and] I congratulated him, also saying to him I’d never dream it two years ago,” Gerke said. “So I think there’s no question that to watch the growth in him, not just physically, but just his game and his approach and all these kinds of things has been unreal the last two years for sure.”
With his senior season set to begin this winter, Braun said he was glad that he can enjoy it without having to worry about recruitment.
This story was originally published on The Express and Husky Headlines on September 17, 2018.