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C. J. Bruton
C. J. Bruton.jpg

Playing career

Early years

In 1994, Bruton debuted for the Perth Wildcats of the Australian National Basketball League, deeming him ineligible to play in the NCAA. In 1995, he enrolled at Indian Hills Community College of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Bruton was the starting point guard for the Warriors in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. In 1997, he led Indian Hills to the school's first championship and was named as an NJCAA All-American and the MVP of the 1997 national tournament. Bruton ended his career as the single–season and career steals leader at Indian Hills. He averaged 13.2 points per game as a freshman and 12.1 as a sophomore. He also led the team with 5.3 assists per game as a sophomore.[1]

On 25 June 1997, Bruton was selected with the 52nd overall pick by the Vancouver Grizzlies in the 1997 NBA draft. His draft rights were later traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in a draft night trade.[2]

Upon returning to the NBL in 1998, Bruton played for the Brisbane Bullets for one season before heading to Wollongong to play for the Hawks from 1998 to 2000.

In October 2000, he spent training camp with the Portland Trail Blazers. In November 2000, he joined the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the 2000–01 CBA season.

In 2001, Bruton joined the Canberra Cannons with his father, Calvin, as head coach. In 2003, the Canberra Cannons folded and instead of relocating with the club to Newcastle, Bruton began a successful stint with the Sydney Kings. In his time in Sydney, Bruton won two championships and co-captained the Kings with Jason Smith. This successful tenure also lead to his selection in the Boomers squad for the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.[3] Bruton was named to the Sydney Kings 25th Anniversary Team in 2013.[4]

Brisbane Bullets

Bruton signed for the cashed-up Brisbane Bullets for the 2006–07 NBL season, joining a star-studded team that also featured Mark Bradtke, Sam Mackinnon, Dusty Rychart, Stephen Black and Adam Gibson. The Bullets won the NBL Pre-Season Blitz held at Coffs Harbour, with Bruton being MVP of the mini-tournament and part of the All-Star Five. His team went 28-5 in the regular season, and then defeated the Melbourne Tigers 3-1 in the finals series to win the Bullets' third championship. The Bullets won the last 18 matches in the regular season, and with three more wins to start the playoffs, set a new NBL record of 21 straight victories. Bruton averaged 14.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

During the 2007 NBL offseason, Bruton coached the South West Metro Pirates of the Queensland ABL.[5][6][7]

In the 2007–08 NBL season, Bruton took on an increased role on offense and averaged 19.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists in 33 games. The Bullets finished the regular season in third position with a 20-10 record, but eventually dipped out in the semi-fi

Bruton was born in the United States and moved to Australia at the age of three when his father, Cal, signed with the Bullets in 1979. He returned to the United States to play college basketball for Indian Hills Community College from 1995 to 1997. Bruton was a second round selection of the Vancouver Grizzlies in the 1997 NBA draft and traded to the Portland Trail Blazers but did not make the team's roster.

Bruton began his coaching career as head coach of the Brisbane Spartans in the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL). He was appointed as an assistant coach for the Bullets in 2016.

In 1994, Bruton debuted for the Perth Wildcats of the Australian National Basketball League, deeming him ineligible to play in the NCAA. In 1995, he enrolled at Indian Hills Community College of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Bruton was the starting point guard for the Warriors in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. In 1997, he led Indian Hills to the school's first championship and was named as an NJCAA All-American and the MVP of the 1997 national tournament. Bruton ended his career as the single–season and career steals leader at Indian Hills. He averaged 13.2 points per game as a freshman and 12.1 as a sophomore. He also led the team with 5.3 assists per game as a sophomore.[1]

On 25 June 1997, Bruton was selected with the 52nd overall pick by the Vancouver Grizzlies in the 1997 NBA draft. His draft rights were later traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in a draft night trade.[2]

Upon returning to the NBL in 1998, Bruton played for the Brisbane Bullets for one season before heading to Wollongong to play for the Hawks from 1998 to 2000.

In October 2000, he spent training camp with the Portland Trail Blazers. In November 2000, he joined the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the 2000–01 CBA season.

In 2001, Bruton joined the Canberra Cannons with his father, Calvin, as head coach. In 2003, the Canberra Cannons folded and instead of relocating with the club to Newcastle, Bruton began a successful stint with the Sydney Kings. In his time in Sydney, Bruton won two championships and co-captained the Kings with Jason Smith. This successful tenure also lead to his selection in the Boomers squad for the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.[3] Bruton was named to the Sydney Kings 25th Anniversary Team in 2013.[4]

Brisbane Bullets