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Which players have won NCAA and NBA titles in back-to-back years?

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 NBA, 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 Larry O'Brien trophy on Monday night 434 days after bathing in confetti as a national champion with the Kansas Jayhawks, with whom he spent three seasons.

Braun was selected 21st overall by Denver in the 2022 NBA Draft.

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.


College Team

NBA Team

Bill Russell

1956 San Francisco

1957 Celtics

Henry Bibby

1972 UCLA

1973 Knicks

Magic Johnson

1979 Michigan State

1980 Lakers

Billy Thompson

1986 Louisville

1987 Lakers

Christian Braun

2022 Kansas

2023 Nuggets

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