July 3, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Center Austin Bragg picked the perfect time to have his best game of the season for the Bellingham Slam, as he scored 27 points and picked up 12 rebounds in the Slam's 143-126 victory over the Vancouver Volcanoes in the 2014 International Basketball League Championship game on June 29 in Vancouver. It was the third straight IBL Championship for the Slam.
For his efforts, Bragg picked up Most Valuable Player honors at the conclusion of the title game. Both his scoring and rebounding numbers were season highs, and his 27 points came from 9-of-10 shooting from the field. He also provided an important presence on defense and frustrated Vancouver's post players throughout the game.
Bragg was playing the Championship game in familiar environs as the contest was held at Clark College, where Bragg spent two seasons before transferring to Western Washington.
Bragg was one of several former WWU stars to make contributions in the title game, with Morris Anderson leading the Slam in scoring with 31 points. Tyler Amaya, who began the season as the team's head coach before assuming the role of player-coach midway through the 2014 campaign, added 28 points on 6-of-10 shooting from three-point range.
Competing in eight games for the Slam in 2014, Bragg missing a significant chunk of the regular season after being selected to participate in an exhibition basketball tour of China in May and June. On the season, he averaged 14.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and a team-leading 1.3 blocks per game.
Bragg is the first rookie and third former Viking to earn MVP honors. Amaya and Anderson were both tabbed for the award in 2008 and 2012, respectively, following championship wins for the Slam.