Braun Brothers Share Unique Bond On, Off Court

Joshua and Justin Braun are basketball players but the sport they both love doesn’t define who they are.

Upon meeting them it’s clear their brotherly bond extends far past their skilled ball-handling and smooth jump shots.

Justin, a senior forward at Boulder Creek High School in Anthem and Joshua, a redshirt sophomore guard at Grand Canyon University, enjoy their time together doing other things than simply refining their games.

“We don’t talk much about basketball to be honest,” GCU’s leading scorer told after a recent practice. “We just enjoy each other and have fun. Whether it’s watching movies or playing board games or video games.”

Justin says the hard-noised, relentless player we see on the court isn’t the same person off it.

“He’s goofy, he’s funny,” he told after his 16-point effort against Mountain Ridge. “I just love having him around. When he’s home it’s always great. We get to hang out and watch football. I have a lot of fun with him.”

On the court the two have recently had to learn to adjust their games playing out of position. Last season the 6’4″ Joshua was pressed into service at power forward and even center due to injuries and the Lopes’ overall lack of depth inside. Justin also plays the post for the Jaguars who start a guard-heavy lineup. Along the way Joshua’s sage advice was shared in-between the movies and board games.

“Be physical,” Justin said without hesitation when asked what his older brother said about competing against players four-five inches taller. “Even though they’re bigger, doesn’t mean you can’t outwork them.”

The future pre-med student, who hopes to follow his brother to GCU and possibly play for Dan Majerle, is on a fast-track to success both in basketball and beyond.

“I love him and appreciate him,” Joshua said of his younger sibling. “It’s just been awesome growing up with him.”


A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.