In the NCAA players see potential NBA Draft picks and future NBA players on a weekly basis and predicting who will become that next NBA player sometimes can be as difficult as guessing correctly if Luka Doncic will make that next triple double in a NBA game or sometimes as easy as knowing that Giannis will be in beast mode every night for 48 minutes. It was March 5th, 2019 near the end of Brandon Childress (183-PG-1997, college: Wake Forest)’s junior year at Wake Forest when he was set to battle Duke again, a team he had previously never beat before but came close twice as a freshman, but on this night, getting that first win again would be stopped as he fell to 0-5, but once again came very very close to winning as he lost a nailbiter of a game 71-70. In the game he battled a very talented player with RJ Barrett, a player where there was no doubt that he would reach the NBA. In the game, Barrett was the top scorer with 28 points and Childress contributed 19 points. Despite scoring more points, Barrett wasn’t the best player on the floor as he coughed up the ball 7 times and Childress even had a better game rating than him. A few months later he was picked 3rd overall by the Knicks and the rest is history as he is on the way of becoming a superstar. And what happened to Childress? Well he had to toil 2 years in Estonia and now is one of the better point guards in a top 5 league easyCredit BBL, but on a losing team with medi Bayreuth. Ok so Barrett was a lot better statistically than Childress in the 2018-2019 season, but there have been guys with lesser stats than Childress reach the NBA. This just shows again that the NCAA and G-League is filled with hundreds of talented guards that could play in the NBA, but there are just not enough roster spots. The American guard never forgot this encounter and also knows how to handle seeing who makes the NBA and not. ‘RJ Barrett and I had a back and forth battle in that game. I woke up a bit in the second half. We were missing a big man and I think had we had him that night, then we would have gotten over the hump. I have seen so many guys that I got the best of in college go to the NBA. You have to run your race. It’s a journey. I remain positive because I know that there have been so many guys go to Europe and then go back to the NBA and stick like PJ Tucker. You just have to find the right opportunity and remain patient’, warned Brandon Childress. He will never forget battling RJ Barrett and knows he has to run the race in order to reach the highest level.
Brandon Childress was born on August 31st, 1997 in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in Winston Salem North Carolina. He played football as a kid and began to play basketball at the age of 9. He is the son of Randolph a guy that played in the NBA with Portland and Detroit and was overseas for more than a decade. Many will remember his time at Wake Forest where he was teammates with Tim Duncan and averaged 35,0ppg in the ACC tournament and scored 37 points in the title game and hit a game winner with 4 seconds over North Carolina that had Jery Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace. His dad definitely had a huge basketball influence in his life. ‘He made a huge sacrifice for my mom and me by playing overseas so he could provide for us. I can always go to him for advice. Whatever I go through overseas, he has also seen it. When I’m frustrated or have a problem good, bad or ugly, I can go to him’, stressed Brandon Childress. Later the family moved to North Carolina where he played 2 years for East Forsyth high school. In his second season he helped lead his team to the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic title. He then played his last 2 years of high school ball at Wesleyan Christian Academy together with Harry Giles. He then chose Wake Forest (NCAA) where he would play from 2016-2020.
When you hear the name Wake Forest one instantly thinks of Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. For the guard who remembers Trey Jones being his most difficult cover in the NCAA had Chris Paul on his mind when he went to Wake Forest. ‘Chris Paul definitely played a role for me going there. I actually had met him before I went there when I was in high school. Wake Forest has had many great guards come out like Ishmail Smith and Muggsy Bogues. Whenever I did speak to him, I always try to ask him a few questions about basketball and try to pick something up’, stated Brandon Childress. In his freshman year he helped the school reach the NCAA tournament losing to Kansas. Often for NCAA players, there is a break out game where a player finally feels that they belong. Even after scoring 16 points in a big win over North Carolina, he didn’t feel like that game brought him on the NCAA map. ‘I felt like I belonged the first day I stepped on the campus of Wake Forest. It was just a matter of proving people wrong’, warned Brandon Childress. In his freshman year he was teammates with Mitchell Wilbekin who’s brother Scottie played at Florida (NCAA) and for years has been a top guard in the Euroleague. ‘I already knew of his brother. Scottie along with guys like Mike James, Shane Larkin and Malcolm Delaney are guys I pay attention to and have followed for years in Europe’, said Brandon Childress. He played a total of 124 NCAA games and was able to improve his scoring average each season. His game really took off in his last two years as he averaged 14.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.0apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 79.6% and 15.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 80.9% and there was a reason for that. ‘For me it was about understanding my role each season. In my first 2 years I followed the leaders and in my last 2 years I was the leader’, expressed Brandon Childress. He played 61 NCAA games in his last 2 years and scored in double figures in 52 games including exploding for 30 points against North Carolina State and had 24 points against Boston College and Notre Dame. He also finally beat Duke as a senior in an exciting 113-101 win where he contributed 17/5/5 stats. ‘It was one of the best feelings. It was the first time I had beat them. My dad had never lost to them, but he had had a lot of confidence in me. I did everything I could to help my team win’, remembered Brandon Childress. He played for legendary ex NBA player Danny Manning who helped Kansas win the 1988 NCAA title who was instrumental in helping his game during the 4 years. ‘Coach preached everyday that we wouldn’t be getting this treatment with private jets and fancy restaurants everywhere. I understood that when I got to Greece. People forget that he was the NBA’s best sixth man and an allstar. He had a lot of experience. He allowed me to play my game and just be myself’, remembered Brandon Childress who never lost a 1-1 battle against Wake Forest teammate Adrien White in practice.
The 183cm point guard who lists Bam Adebayo, Denis Smith, Oliver Hanlon, Harry Giles and Aaron Wiggins as his best teammates of all-time began his professional career in 2020 in Greece for GS Iraklis Thessaloniki (Greece-A1), but that was only a short stay. He played 1 basketball Champions League game and 5 Greek games. ‘I was there during COVID. It was tough. You couldn’t really go outside so I really focused on basketball. In Greece I saw the reality of overseas basketball. In most countries English is the second language so it wasn’t so hard for me to adapt. In some countries they speak little English. Americans just have to do some research before going to a country. I learned from the older vets like Skyler Bowlin how to act professional’, warned Brandon Childress. He then finished his rookie season with AVIS UTILITAS Rapla (Estonia-KML) averaging 17.4ppg, 4.1rpg, Assists-2 (4.8apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT-2 (86.1%); and in the LatEstBL league averaged 22.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.9apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 81.6%.He lost his first playoff series against Parnu, but had some massive games against Ventspils scoring 36 points and hit Tartu for 28 points. Last season he played with TalTech Tallinn (Estonia-KML) averaging 24.2ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-2 (6.0apg), Steals-1 (2.2spg), FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 80.4%; and in the EstLatBL averaged 23.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 6.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 87.9%. He reached the semi-finals in the playoffs and lost a tough 2 game series to Kalev/Cramo where he exploded for 56 points in the 2 games. ‘It was a tough series. They had a great team that dominated the league. It was a big challenge but they were simply the better team. We really did all we could’, expressed Brandon Childress. He had big games against Rapla with 35 points, hit Tallinna Kalev for 33 points and got the best of Ventspils again scoring 32 points. He definitely left his mark in Estonia scoring in double figures in 41 of 42 games. Last summer he played NBA Summer League with the Sacramento Kings playing 1 game and will never forget getting this opportunity. ‘It was a total blessing. As a kid I always dreamed of playing in the NBA Summer League and had aspirations of playing in the NBA. I pray that I will get another opportunity to play in the NBA Summer League and then with more experience be able to exploit my talent. It’s great to see my name on the jersey and see old AAU and college teammates play. The NBA Summer League is also a good place to meet new players. I got positive feedback from the Kings as they told me to keep working hard’, said Brandon Childress.
The North Carolina native who lists Kobe, Lebron, Jordan and Tim Duncan on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore is playing his first season in the easyCredit BBL in Germany for medi Bayreuth. After paying his dues in lower leagues in Estonia, he was rewarded with a chance to play in a high league after having his share of ups and downs in his first 2 professional seasons. Even if medi Bayreuth are the door mat of the easyCredit BBL, he has learned to appreciate his time in a new country. ‘The fan base is amazing where ever I go in Germany. It has been a blessing being able to play against teams like Munich or Alba Berlin. I see that the basketball community is really small here. It is like a fraternity of guys I played with or against in the states. We check up on each other and wish each other good health’, stressed Brandon Childress. After reaching the playoffs in his first 2 seasons, the losing has been difficult. They won the first game of the season in exciting fashion 83-82 against Frankfurt, but after that the club lost 8 of 9 games that put them in this precarious situation. ‘Nobody expected our season to go like that after the first win. Even if we have young guys, it has been a learning curve. We have to be patient and control what we can control and do our best. The losing has been part of the journey. The main goal now is to keep the team in the league. The BBL is a very tough league with 2 Euroleague teams. The BBL is a lot more competitive than in Estonia. The atmosphere against in Munich is something I didn’t see in Estonia’, warned Brandon Childress in March 2023. The club played FC Bayern Munich tough losing 80-79, but have had problems improving their defense as they allow 89 points per game. They seem to be a better team than their record shows. ‘We recently had a coaching change and we still have to get used to things. We still have to break old habits. I feel like we are improving and I’m excited for the next games. We definitely are better than our record shows. I feel like we can turn the corner. We have enough time. We have to show the fans that we are willing to work hard. We have to do it for the fans’, stressed Brandon Childress in March 2023. Even if he is a veteran, he has been more than fortunate to be able to call team captain Bastian Doreth a teammate. ‘Basti has been a huge veteran. He has impacted me on and off the court. He is a huge role model for the community. He is a great mentor. He is the type of guy that you want to be like when you grow up. I hope they retire his jersey’, added Brandon Childress.
The ex Wake Forest (NCAA) guard who has Kobe Bryant as his GOAT and believes that the classic Coming To America movie with Eddie Murphy should have been left alone is a point guard that has difficulty describing his game to an NBA player, but rather lets people do that. ‘People have compared my game to Jeff Teague. I had a veteran my rookie season call me B Lillard, because I was one of the smaller guards that could really shoot the ball’, smiled Brandon Childress. Even if his stats show that he is a scoring point guard, he continues to work hard to prove his doubters wrong, because he is so much more than just a guy that can score and shoot. ‘I have been blessed to be able to shoot the ball really well, but people underestimate my play on the pick and roll. I feel like that my scoring opens up more opportunities for my teammates. I have shown that I can get 8 or 9 assists if I have to. I keep working on my facilitation and want to become an even bigger threat on offense’, warned Brandon Childress. Currently he is averaging 17,2ppg, 3,2rpg, 4,7apg and 1,2spg while shooting 36% from outside. He exploded for 37 points with 8 three’s in a tough loss to Heidelberg and hit Ludwigsburg for 35 points in a loss. He also wants to be known as a great defender as there are so many productive defensive guards in Europe. ‘I feel like sky is the limit for me as a defender’, warned Brandon Childress. He knows that in order to keep climbing the basketball ladder overseas, he will have to keep improving certain facets of his game. ‘I’m working on slowing the game down. I was in a shooting slump, but once I settled down and let the game come to me, my game became more efficient. I also want to become a better finisher’, warned Brandon Childress. It will be interesting to see where the basketball career of Brandon Childress will continue to go. He is just at the beginning of his basketball journey and race and knows he still has a lot of time to get to the peak of the mountain..