Future Jayhawk Christian Braun named top prep player in KC


None by Jason Lamb

For the second year in a row, a future Kansas Jayhawk has hoisted the DiRenna Award trophy, given out annually to the top high school basketball player in the greater Kansas City area.

KU signee, Christian Braun, of Blue Valley Northwest, brought home this year’s honor, following in the footsteps of current Jayhawk Ochai Agbaji.

"Congrats CB," Tweeted BVNW coach Ed Fritz after Braun won the award. "You make us all proud."

First established in 1954 by Dr. James A. DiRenna, the award has recognized the top male and female basketball players in the Kansas City area for decades, with names like Jaron and Kareem Rush, along with Clayton Custer recently winning the award.

After DiRenna’s death in 1996, his son, Dr. James A. DiRenna Jr., carried on the legacy and paired with the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association to keep the honor rolling.

Braun, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound shooting guard who signed with KU in November, led the Huskies to a 27-2 record and the Class 6A state championship this season, averaging 27.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game, including 16 points and 10 rebounds in the title-game win over Washburn Rural High.

He also was named the Gatorade Boys Baksetball Player of the Year for Kansas and was a two-time all-state selection during his 1,000-point prep career.

Braun is one of two future KU players currently signed in the 2019 class — Little Rock, Ark., point guard Issac McBride is the other — and the Jayhawks currently have four scholarships available to hand out in the 2019 class with Charlie Moore, K.J. Lawson, Dedric Lawson and Quentin Grimes all electing to move on from the program in the past couple of weeks.


Karen Mansfield-Stewart 1 year, 6 months ago

Congratulations Christian. That's a big time honor. Keep working on your three point shooting this summer. I can't wait to hear, "CB for three!" on TV next year!

Brad Avery 1 year, 6 months ago

Hope Christian works very hard on his conditioning this summer so he can play 40 minutes a game next season. He may have to.

Steve Quatrocky 1 year, 6 months ago

I like it, were transitioning from a Memphis dominated team to a KC dominated Team with Mitch, Ochai, and now Christian, and I think they will play more for the name on their chest versus what the name on their chest can do for the name on the back of their jersey, not that the Memphis guys did us wrong in any way and I appreciate their contributions to the program, and honestly wish Dedric and KJ could stay longer even though it would be foolish for Dedric not to go after the numbers he put up with his "old man game" based more on Skill than just Size and Athleticism. We still had a very good year, especially considering we lost 3 starters, and that we lost them throughout the season, having to continually adjust styles and lineups to try and paper over their departures, meaning we never had a real chance to gel, or develop an identity.

I think Quentin should come back until he masters the two guard spot and has a chance to put up better 3pt percentages because right now, I would rank him between Selby and Oubre on the one and done list, both got NBA Contracts one didnt stick for long and the other has struggled to just stay in the league, both falling far short of their expectations when they left after only one mediocre year in college and counted on their High School Rankings to carry them into the draft. I think he understands the role now and as a Sophomore, could demonstrate his talent a lot better than fighting against it the first half of the season last year. If he is really confident in his talent and ability, coming back for another year would mean moving from a second round non guaranteed contract in this year's draft to a much bigger first round guaranteed contract in next year's draft. Another year of school would be a lot better than life in the G League IMO.

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