Braden Norris: Oakland’s new starting point guard

Jonathan Savich, Staff Reporter

Braden Norris, the new starting point guard for the Grizzlies, shows nothing but determination and dedication to basketball and his team.

He is from the small town of Hilliard, Ohio where he learned he had a love for the game of basketball. His father Brett was a lifelong basketball coach which drove Norris toward his passion and love for basketball. He found himself gravitating toward Oakland because of the culture that Head Coach Greg Kampe has created around winning.

He grew up watching Lebron James crush his spirits when he left for Miami in 2010 and bring joy in 2016 when he brought a championship to Cleveland for the first time in 52 years. Norris is also a self-proclaimed Browns and Baker Mayfield fan, so he can relate to all football fans in Detroit having a hapless football team, but never giving up.

Giving up isn’t in Norris’ vocabulary. He spends most of his time in the gym, whether there’s an actual practice or he’s in there working on his individual shot with his free time. He’s a fierce competitor, yet he is very humble. That’s why he finds himself the starting point guard after Brailen Neely left the team after due to problems with his knee. In their most recent game, Norris had a double-double where he recorded 18 points and 10 assists, he seems to be stepping up in his newly found position as a starting freshman point guard.

“I was really nervous,” Norris said, reflecting on his first game as a college athlete. “It was a lot of fun to play in front of a full crowd against that kind of team.”

The team’s goal is to win the Horizon League tournament and make the NCAA tournament. With such a young team the bar is set high but there is hope. Norris said, “The sky is the limit.”

As for what Norris wants to do career wise, he is undecided with his major and career path. However, his ultimate dream is to make it to the NBA, and if that doesn’t work out he wants to stay within the world of sports as a coach. Steph Curry is a NBA player he looks up to and that is apparent in his performance on-court. Norris is leading the NCAA with an above average 83 percent three-point field goal percentage.

“I look up to Steph Curry,” Norris said. “He doesn’t really look like a normal NBA player and I don’t really look like a normal Division I player which is really inspirational to me.”

If Norris keeps this pace of play this season, Oakland can find themselves on top of the Horizon League and if Norris maintains anything near that for the next couple of seasons, he might find himself in the draft in a couple of years.

Norris and the Golden Grizzlies are on a little break until they hit the road for an eight-game extended road trip that starts against D1 powerhouse Xavier on Saturday, Dec. 1 and ends Thursday, Jan. 3, against Northern Kentucky.