It is hard to believe but the miraculous 100 point game by American Jonathan Paul Braeger (178-G) was more than 10 months ago. Doing something like that is like if a baseball player clubbed 10 home runs in a game or a ice hockey player scored 10 goals in a game or if a quarterback threw 15 touch down passes in a game. 100 points in a 40 minute game is something one has to grasp. Luka Doncic recently scored 60 points and that was difficult , but 100 points. You could use the word Wow over and over and nobody would get annoyed by the overzealous behavior. You would think that if a guy did something like that then it would be cult non stop news and that he would be remined about it at the local 7-11 to Sunday church, but surprisingly for the explosive scoring guard the hype died down and hasn’t caught fire again since that memorable March day in Wurzburg in 2022. ‘ I wouldn’t say I get reminded of it daily but it’s been brought up in some casual conversations with friends and family’, said Jonathan Paul Braeger. If I had scored 100 points, I would of watched the game more than a few times and put the best clips on You Tube, but every person is different. For some life goes on and the 100 points remains a beautiful memory, but not more. ‘Truthfully I haven’t watched the game or highlights since it happened’, stressed Jonathan Paul Braeger. Scoring 100 points was real sweet, but the icing on the cake and best thing about that unforgettable day was that his team got the win. Staying humble is something that Jonathan Paul Braeger has remained. The 100 point game is for sure an experience he will never forget, but at the same time his life in the small town of Vilsbiburg will also be a life long memory that he will cherish. ‘I will never forget my teammates. I made some lifelong friendships! The coaching staff too! They taught me many things on being a professional player’, commented Jonathan Paul Braeger.
It is the goal of every professional player to move up the basketball ladder. For some it takes longer than others as Limoges CSP Elite guard Bryce Jones had to toil 4 years in Serbia and Montenegro before reaching the France Pro A or a Stanley Whitaker finally reaching the easyCredit BBL after paying his dues in countries like Lithuania, Austria and Pro A Germany. Some guys reach the next level a lot easier with massive stats or perhaps an incredible achievement, but surprisingly for the American who played with the Chicago Fury (ABA) before coming overseas his 100 point game didn’t help him last summer getting a new job. One has to wonder why he didn’t land at least with another German Regionalliga club. ‘I didn’t have any interest from any German Regionalliga teams after last season. I had some teams reaching out to me surprised I wasn’t going back for another year at Vilsbiburg but no one offered anything. It was tough because I reached out to basically all Regionalliga teams in Germany but every team seemed like they were looking for a Bbg man and not a guard or just had a full roster already’, said Jonathan Paul Braeger. That heavy rejection didn’t hurt his mental state as he always has one goal of just grinding and grinding until that next opportunity comes no matter what. ‘This past summer was a struggle with getting no offers. Mentally it was tough but with the constant support of my girlfriend and family and friends it helped me a ton! Just because I didn’t get an offer doesn’t mean that I didn’t continue to improve my game. Not getting an offer motivated me to work harder than ever before to be ready for the next opportunity! I feel like the 100 point game didn’t help me as much as people thought it would have. Just needed to stay ready’, remembered Jonathan Paul Braeger.
The American scorer who believes that Steph Curry is already the best shooting guard of all-time never lost faith in the tough overseas basketball process. His secret to being able to overcome the mental lapses that arose simply have to do with his love for the game and never losing faith. ‘The love and passion I have for basketball will never go away. And when things seem like they aren’t working then that means you just need to stay focused and keep improving. I trust in the player and teammate I am that when the next opportunity would come knocking that I would be ready! Love of the game doesn’t stop which means the faith doesn’t stop either’, warned Jonathan Paul Braeger. I see how players lives are going on social media and one guy I had my eyes especially on was Jonathan Paul Braeger. I thought that his Cinderella story in Vilsbiburg was a very special one and was always waiting for the day where I would learn of his new destination. I saw many pictures being posted in the autumn and was wondering and hoping that he would get a deal sooner or later. Then shortly after 2023 had arrived came that announcement I was waiting for. He had signed in Iceland. ‘The transfer came out of nowhere! I woke up Friday (06.01.23) with a message from my agency Dagger Basket with the offer at hand!! I’ve always dreamed of coming to Iceland and what better opportunity to come visit this beautiful country and yet alone be able to play professional basketball here! It was a quick process with getting the offer (06.01.23) and then accepting the offer and then leaving that following Wednesday (11.01.23). This is what I train and prepare for! You never know when the time will come but when it does you need to be mentally and physically prepared’, warned Jonathan Paul Braeger. Even if being able to live in a very exotic country could have been enough reason to come, his new organization obviously also played a part. ‘The President and Coach here were a big reason for me coming here. They were very welcoming from the start and have great plans for the rest of this season along with future seasons. Coach here has many years of experience playing but also coaching in the top league and for Iceland’s national U-20 team! He has a lot of knowledge of the game and I’m always willing and wanting to learn! As my dad always told me there’s endless opportunities to continue your knowledge! This isn’t just through basketball but life as well’, added Jonathan Paul Braeger.
The guard who hails from Wisconsin and believes that Luka Doncic is currently together with Giannis 1 and 2 in the NBA is aware that he is playing in the third division in Iceland which should be comparable to 2 Regionalliga-Oberliga Germany in skill level. Knowing this would put most Americans in stat building mode, but he has the ultimate goal that every player should always have first as his main focus. ‘Personaly stats aren’t the most important thing here. I’m a winner with a winning attitude and winning work ethic! They brought me here to win! If that means averaging high numbers then that’s what I’ll do but the main focus every season anywhere I go is to WIN’, warned Jonathan Paul Braeger. He had extra time to grind in the lab this past autumn and winter as well as learning extra through coaching and will be ready for the new challenge. ‘I always work on every part of my game during the off season! Ball handling, shooting and passing! With getting no offers I was able to coach some high level high school basketball back in my home state which has helped me learn a lot about the game. So overall I think my knowledge of the game has improved tremendously! You learn a lot as a player but being able to coach can teach you more then you know’, warned Jonathan Paul Braeger. It is also no secret that he will be exploring Iceland every free moment that he has and knows exactly what he is looking most forward to witnessing. This kind of opportunity is once in a lifetime. ‘The landscapes! I love nature and love the mountains!! Which country could be better for that! And of course the northern lights and natural hot springs!!! I have a huge list of places and things I would love to see and visit while I’m here’, expressed Jonathan Paul Braeger. He doesn’t take anything for granted as he is grateful and thankful each day for being able to play the game he loves for a living. ‘The most special thing about this journey is just believing in my talents and not losing faith. I’ve worked my entire life to get in the spot I’m in and if you know me the work never stopped even when the offers weren’t there. You must fully believe in yourself if you expect someone else to believe in you just as much’, warned Jonathan Paul Braeger. The Cinderella story continues for Jonathan Paul Braeger as he moves from Vilsbiburg to Iceland. It will continue to be exciting to see what he does this season and where his career will continue to go in the future.