Denver rookie Christian Braun hopes to lift NBA trophy only a year after conquering NCAA championship

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Only one year after conquering the NCAA Tournament with college basketball’s Kansas Jayhawks, Nuggets’ Christian Braun expects to lift the NBA title this season. With his recent performances, the rookie has proved that the NBA Finals are not a stage too big for him. 

After being selected as the 21st pick last draft, the young athlete has made an impact coming of the bench during the championship series, having hit 10 of 12 attempts, won 6 rebounds and collected 4 steals so far against the Miami Heat.

His teammates have given him the ultimate praise in the postgame interviews, especially as Denver star Nikola Jokic admitted that they earned Game 3 in South Beach because of 22-year-old’s contribution.

“That’s a rare rookie right here,” Aaron Gordon expressed. “From Day 1 he’s been on top of it. This is a real winner right here. I say that because he’s always in the right spot. He’s in the right place at the right time, and he’s been doing that all year.”

Check out what the Nuggets locker room has said about the rising star during the NBA Finals:

Braun would become only the fifth athlete in league history to become an NBA champion right after lifting the NCAA trophy, and joining a select group of players that include Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Billy Thompson and Henry Bibby.

As Jamal Murray and Jokic made history last time out against the Heat, becoming the first teammates to ever achieve individual triple-doubles in the championship series, Braun did his own to help the squad out. The young athlete dropped 15 points in 19 minutes, outperforming the rest of the Nuggets reserve.

“Getting shut down, we feel like we were definitely held back from something,” said Braun, who also guided his college basketball team to the national championship two years ago, providing 12 points and 12 rebounds in the final contest against North Carolina.

“I’m definitely blessed,” the 22-year-old said. “It’s not necessarily an individual accomplishment. I’ve been a part of some really good teams with really good coaches and really good players.”

His coach Michael Malone insists he’s been saying all-year long that Braun is a winner

“All year long the one thing I’ve talked about with Christian is that he’s a winner,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “The guy has won at every level, and here he is in the NBA Finals. It’s kind of staying true to form for Christian Braun.”

Back when the young shooting guard helped the Nuggets beat the defending champs Golden State in the second game of the season back in October, Malone knew Braun’s addition to the team had been a great move.

“For a young player playing against the defending world champions on the road, he wasn’t afraid,” the trainer assured. “That really stuck out to me. Most young kids, they get in a situation or environment like that, they’re going to be a little bit over their head, and he wasn’t.”

Up to now, it’s all been about the player’s attitude during the contests. “He’s never afraid of the moment, which you have to appreciate for such a young kid,” Malone concluded.