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Braun averaged 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and one steal in 40 games to help Kansas win the national title last season. He became the 65th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points and the 20th under head coach Bill Self.
The 21-year-old often brought an infectious playing style with energy and effort to the Jayhawks. He credited that fire to his mother, Lisa, who was a three-time All-Big Eight Conference selection in basketball at Missouri from 1987-91.
He spoke about his spirit as the Nuggets introduced him this week.
I’m just a super competitive person no matter what it is but, on the basketball court, I like to bring a certain personality and a certain passion to the teams I play on. (I probably) get it from my mother. She is the toughest person in my family so I would say that is probably who I get it from. I’m just a super competitive person and I think that toughness and personality is the way I like to show that.
Braun was viewed as perhaps one of the most athletic players in the draft. He had the third-highest max vertical at the combine (40 inches) and excelled in several other on-court drills. He is looking to use that, along with his versatility, on the defensive end of the floor.
I think I can guard multiple positions and I think that is very important right now. You see a lot of teams doing a lot of switching so I’m a guy that is pretty versatile and willing to do those things. I think that is the biggest part of all of it is just being willing.
The Nuggets were said to be very high on Braun during the pre-draft process. There are some holes he can help fill in the second unit, especially as a 3-and-D prospect. He will certainly have to earn his playing time on a team built to win now, but he appears to be up for the task.