Football

Out of the shadow and into the light: Nixa basketball's Christian Bundy

Nixa senior Christian Bundy doesn’t care how much attention he receives, or if he draws any at all.

Nixa forward Christian Bundy averaged eight points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a junior.

Nixa forward Christian Bundy averaged eight points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a junior.

Unless you’re a college basketball coach.

Bundy strikes a balance between wanting Nixa to have a successful season in his final year of high school, and wanting to draw some attention from recruiters. He found a solution for both.

“I’m trying to tear it up this year,” Bundy said.

If his name sounds familiar, you might be a Drury basketball fan. Christian’s older brother Kameron Bundy graduated this year as the Panthers’ No. 10 all-time leading scorer with 1,770 points. People still talk of the 40-foot “Bundy Bomb” shot Kameron Bundy sunk to lead Drury to a 90-88 overtime win over Quincy on Jan. 31, 2015.

Inevitably, observers will compare the two brothers on the basketball court, and that’s okay with Christian Bundy.

“I think it’s fair, it happens with all siblings in every single sport,” Bundy said.

Bundy says he sometimes confers with his older brother for basketball advice.

“A lot of the times I’ll ask him what I need to do and he just tells me, but I know the game and he just says, ‘Just play quick but not in a hurry,’ and that’s what I do,” Bundy said.

Nixa coach Jay Osborne says there isn’t much comparison between the two brothers as players.

“They’re two different players. Christian is more of a low post, high post player. Kameron was a ball handler, shooter and slasher—so two totally different players,” Osborne said.

Bundy figures to be Nixa’s leading rebounder coming off a season were he averaged 3.9 boards per game playing in a crowded frontcourt with 6-foot-6 all-state forward Chase Allen, who now plays football at Iowa State.

Bundy spent the offseason working to team up with Austin Bracker to fill Allen’s role.

“I feel a lot quicker, a lot more agile. I definitely got in the weight room and put some weight on so I can be the influence inside,” Bundy said.

Nixa’s leading scorer status, however, is up for grabs in every game. Bundy averaged eight points per game as a junior. He scored 14 points in Nixa’s season-opening 95-63 win over Lafayette (St. Joseph). Four Eagles scored in double figures, led by Evan Bergmann’s 22 points, and two more players had nine points.

Nixa went on to win the tournament by beating DeSmet 79-75 in Saturday’s final. Bundy earned all-tournament team status.

“We’ve been practicing so hard, so to get out here and show what we’ve got was great. We just came out here and just killed it, it was crazy,” Bundy said.

Nixa spreads the ball around, as Bundy explained. Passes go to “anyone who’s open, just open layups, open jump shots.”

It’s all part of a “team first” approach Osborne has instilled for 23 years with the Eagles.

“It’s a good group, they’re good kids. They get along really well and I think they want their teammates to do well,” Osborne said.

With that approach, college basketball opportunities should surface for Bundy and other Nixa players.

“I think he’s got a few people looking at him,” Osborne said. “I tell them all the time, ‘If you want to play college ball, there will be a place for you somewhere.’ I just try to have them live in the present and see if they can enjoy their senior season.”