• March 14, 2024

Jayhawks in the NBA: Three Jayhawks reunite in Nuggets-Raptors game

Jayhawks in the NBA: Three Jayhawks reunite in Nuggets-Raptors game

DENVER, Colo. – Three former Kansas men’s basketball players, Ochai Agbaji and Gradey Dick of the Toronto Raptors, and Christian Braun of the Denver Nuggets took the court in a Jayhawk reunion at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, on Monday.

Braun and Agbaji, who won a national championship with the Jayhawks in 2022, were both first-round selections in the 2022 NBA draft. Agbaji was picked 14th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Braun followed a few picks later, drafted 21st by the Denver Nuggets.

Dick, who played for the Jayhawks last season, was drafted No. 13 overall to the Toronto Raptors. Before the 2024 NBA trade deadline, Agbaji was traded to the Raptors, joining Dick in Toronto.

Before the game, Braun shared his thoughts on facing the former Jayhawks, who are now members of the Toronto Raptors.

“It’s pretty cool to see these guys do their thing in the league,” Braun told the Kansan. “I’m just proud of them, it’s amazing to see what they’ve accomplished and what they’re doing. It’s going to be fun to compete against them.

Braun discussed his relationship with Agbaji and Dick, emphasizing the lasting bond formed through their national championship win with Agbaji and his role in recruiting Dick to Kansas. Additionally, he acknowledged the connection among former Jayhawks in the NBA.

“Me and Ochai were on that team that won together, which makes you close forever. I got to help Gradey with his decision coming to Kansas, and seeing it work out for him and get to where he’s at now, it’s been really cool. My relationship with them is great,” Braun said. “Those are relationships and bonds I’ll have forever.”

The Denver Nuggets rallied from a 22-point deficit to defeat the Raptors 125-119. Agbaji finished with eight points, two rebounds and one assist, while Braun finished with five points, two rebounds and two assists, securing the win against his former college teammate.

Dick, who finished the game with 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds, described the experience of playing with Braun and Agbaji on an NBA floor.

“It was special to see Christian again and be on the same floor with him and Ochai, it was a cool moment,” Dick said.

He also mentioned how Agbaji has helped his development in the league.

“It was good to have a guy I was already familiar with and come in and already have that chemistry built.”

Dick concluded by sharing his favorite memory from playing at Kansas, which was defeating Missouri and engaging in some post-win shenanigans.

“I got a Bengal cat after to celebrate the win,” Dick laughed.

When asked where he bought the Bengal cat, he simply replied, “online.”

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