Feb 19, 2019
Greg Brunner is an “Iowa-born, Iowa-bred” guy who just loves basketball. Greg sits down with Tim in the Moonlight Graham Studio for a basketball talk that spans AAU, the Big Ten, and two continents. Brunner’s memory for teammates, opponents, and games is amazing. For every question Tim asks, Greg dives into details that will have all basketball fans pressing pause and doing some research.
Greg Brunner grew up playing a lot of basketball in Charles City, Iowa and traveling with the Martin Brothers team. Brunner has stories from his time playing U15-U19 with and against big-name players like Carmello Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. In addition to practicing against a future D1 teammate in Charles City, Brunner discusses how going against top-level talent really drove his own progress as a player and helped get him recruiting exposure. Though he drew attention from Kansas, Iowa State, Wisconsin, and several other programs, playing for the Hawkeyes had always been his dream.
Brunner played at Iowa from 2002-2006. While many fans may remember that stretch for how it ended, it was a great time for Hawkeye basketball. Brunner finished his career with over 1,500 points and 990 rebounds. The 2005-06 Hawkeyes were ranked as high as 12th in the country and were a 3 seed in the NCAA tourney before being upset by Northwestern State. Greg and Tim talk about that loss as well as the many successes Greg and the Hawkeyes had in the early 2000s.
After working out for NBA teams and being in a fight for an NBA roster spot, Brunner got the opportunity to play in Belgium and took it. After a tough adjustment in the first few weeks, Greg started to find his groove. After Belgium, he made stops around Italy, Israel, and the Swiss national team; a total of almost 20 moves for his family. His career in Europe allowed him to play in really diverse environments and with future NBA talents including Clint Capela, Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko, and Timofey Mozgov.