It's incredibly difficult to win a championship in any sport. How about winning two, in back-to-back years, in different leagues, while playing for different teams?
In the context of the NCAA and , the list of players to accomplish back-to-back championships - first in the NCAA tournament and then in the NBA Finals - is incredibly brief.
While the player's skill level and impact is hugely important (as evidenced by some of the names on the below list), the situation they fall into, particularly in the NBA, plays a huge role. Unless you're Magic Johnson, rookies typically don't have a big impact on their professional team winning a title.
The latest addition to this exclusive list is Denver Nuggets guard Christian Braun, who hugged the on Monday night 434 days after bathing in confetti as a national champion with the Kansas Jayhawks, with whom he spent three seasons.
Braun averaged 13 minutes per game in the Nuggets' playoff run, along with 3.2 PPG on 53.3% FG, but the 22-year-old will be best remembered for his scoring outburst in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
Braun scored 15 points - including 11 on 5/6 FG in the second half - to spark Denver to a crucial road win, putting them within one win of their first ever title. He wasn't the biggest piece of the championship run, but his contributions won't be soon forgotten.
Let's take a look at every player to win an NCAA title and NBA title in back-to-back years.
|1956 San Francisco
|1979 Michigan State