Blue Valley Northwest senior Christian Braun hails from Burlington, Kan., the home of former Kansas basketball player Tyrel Reed.
“As a matter of fact, Tyrel’s sister, Lacie, used to babysit my boys. Christian used to put his high-tops on and walk around in them all the time. It was cute,” Lisa Braun said Monday after her son, Christian, orally committed to play at Reed’s alma mater.
Braun, a combo guard/small forward who is Rivals.com’s No. 112-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2019, chose KU over Kansas State, Illinois, Missouri and others.
Christian’s brother, Parker, is a freshman forward at Missouri — alma mater of Lisa Braun, who moved with her husband, Donald, and the kids to Overland Park for the start of Christian’s high school career four years ago.
“He’s always been a KU fan since he was little, just because of the area we grew up in and his dad went to KU,” the former Lisa Sandbothe said of Christian. “There’s always been the Border War in our house of course, because I played at Mizzou. The Border War continues,” she added with a laugh.
Parker Braun, a 6-8 freshman, and Christian, who stands 6-6, both played for the MoKan Elite AAU team as well as Blue Valley Northwest. Parker — he was not recruited by KU — will be placed on scholarship at Mizzou starting his sophomore season. No scholarships were available for 2018-19.
Christian Braun’s commitment to KU completed a whirlwind couple of weeks for the two-time state champion who averaged 14.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game his junior year at BV Northwest.
Christian — he played quite well at the Peach Jam in South Carolina and a tourney in Las Vegas to conclude the summer AAU circuit — was offered a scholarship by KU on Aug. 30 during his unofficial campus visit.
At that time, he also had offers from MU, Oklahoma, K-State, Texas Tech, Wake Forest and others.
KU coach Bill Self and assistant Norm Roberts held an in-home visit with the Braun family on Sunday night in Overland Park and Christian offered his commitment just hours later on Monday.
“We discussed where they thought I would fit in and stuff like that,” Braun said Monday.
“It feels right for me and my family. KU has always been a place I wanted to go. I grew up in a small town in Kansas. It’s always been a dream for me. I’m pretty excited for the opportunity when I got it. I figured I should take it and go from there,” Braun added.
Braun made the announcement shortly before 2 p.m. Monday, with this post on Twitter: “First I would like to thank my parents for loving me and caring for me throughout my life and sacrificing everything to put me in the best position for my future. I would also like to thank my coaches for guiding me throughout this process. I would like to thank MoKan for giving me a platform to showcase my ability for the past six years. I am committing to the University of Kansas!”
Braun, who made one official visit, to K-State, was to have traveled to Oklahoma this coming weekend and Illinois in October. Instead he’s committed to sign a letter-of-intent with KU in November.
“Talking to Coach Self and Roberts … it seems the right fit for me and my family,” Christian Braun said. “I really like the coaching staff. I met the players. I really like them. Obviously I’ve been a KU fan a long time. It seemed to be the right place for me. I can help the program. I think it’s going to be special.”
He has talked to Self about the role he’ll play at KU.
“I am more a 2,” he said. “I play a lot of the 2 and 3 and also a bit of 1 if he needs it. Just versatility is something me and coach talk about a lot.
“Right now I’m taking it all in,” added Braun. “I don’t know it’s necessarily hit me yet. Just the opportunity being that it’s Kansas. Once everything settles down I’ll be able to look at it. I’m just pretty excited.”
Lisa Braun (she indicated the family’s last name is pronounced Brown) said she’s happy she’ll have two sons playing major college basketball in the area.
“They’ve been watching him for years,” Lisa said of KU coaches attending MoKan Elite games and BV Northwest contests. “They’d see him whenever he went to team camps at KU with Coach Fritz (Ed, BV Northwest). Our family … we’re just basketball fans in general. I don’t think we’re real particular of what school or whatever, we just like good ball. That’s what he (Self) is known for. He’s done a super job. You can’t beat the statistics the Jayhawks have had over the years. And we trust him. He’s a go-getter, a class act guy. I don’t think he (Christian) could have picked a better coach,” Lisa added.
Proud MU Tiger Lisa would love to see KU and MU play again, especially with sons at both institutions.
“Oh yes. If we can’t have them play together, it’s always fun to have both kids on the same court,” Lisa Braun said.
Braun’s commitment is KU’s first from a prospect in the Class of 2019. The Jayhawks will have at least one more scholarship available after the departure of senior Lagerald Vick. More scholarships are expected to be available with several non-seniors likely to consider entering the 2019 NBA Draft.
Williamson to Louisville
Samuell Williamson, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound senior guard/forward from Rockwall (Texas) High School, on Monday orally committed to play basketball at Louisville.
Williamson, the No. 35-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2019 according to Rivals.com, made the announcement on Twitter. He chose the Cardinals over Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
He had earlier considered Kansas, a school he visited. However, on Sunday night, Rivals.com reported the Jayhawks were no longer involved with Williamson. He visited KU, A&M and Louisville in successive weeks. He’s canceled visits to Oklahoma (Sept. 21-23) and Texas Tech (Oct. 5-7). His previous list of 10 had also included Baylor, Ohio State, SMU, Michigan and Texas.