Koenig works out with the Milwaukee Bucks

By Marlon WhiteEagle

Ho-Chunk tribal member and former Wisconsin Badger point guard Bronson Koenig moved on to the next chapter of his basketball career when he worked out with the Milwaukee Bucks at their St. Francis Training Center on Thursday, May 18.
Koenig has come a long way from his days of looking for pick-up games at the La Crosse YMCA gym. He led his high school team, La Crosse Aquinas, to two state championship titles, and was named Wisconsin Player of the Year by the Associated Press during his senior year.
The workout is generally a 3-on-3 game among six draft prospects the team is considering to sign to a contract.  The players demonstrated their skills for teams to assess against their team building strategy.
“It was a really good workout. I thought I was doing really well until I rolled my ankle a little bit. But it’s fine. I thought I shot the ball really well. It was my first workout. It was fun. It was exciting,” Koenig said.
Koenig was joined by five other draft prospects: Moritz Wagner, a Michigan sophomore; Moses Kingsley, an Arkansas senior; Andrew White, a Syracuse senior; London Perrantes, a Virginia senior; and J.J. Frazier, a Georgia senior.
Bronson made it through 75 percent of the workout before he rolled his ankle.
“We are very comfortable in what we seen from him. We know it’s not a major injury for him. It was his first workout and he was doing terrific before his injury,” Milwaukee Bucks Vice President of Scouting Billy McKinney said.
“It’s definitely frustrating. I’ve been blessed my whole career to be injury-free and everything like that. But especially being my first workout, it’s a little more frustrating.  I was playing well. Hopefully, you know, I proved myself to everybody and showed what I could do a little bit,” Koenig said.
“I showed what I can do. What I’ve done my whole life, and that’s make shots, obviously. But also what I’ve talked about before coming here, that’s my passing abilities. I thought I was able to put that on display a little bit.”
Participating in workouts with NBA teams lets the players know they are on the team’s radar come draft time. This year the NBA draft is scheduled for June 22.
Being invited to the NBA Combine is big indicator of draft potential. Koenig was left off the invitation list to the NBA’s Chicago event that was held May 9 to May 14. He was upset about being overlooked.
“Yeah. Just because I’m a competitor. You always feel like you’re better than the next guy, and everything like that. But I had to use that as motivation to work harder,” Koenig said.
Another way for NBA teams to evaluate future player is watch them play in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which is also by invite only and limited to college seniors.
Koenig was invited, but similarly rolled his ankle before he could showcase all his skills.
“It was a good experience with other really good seniors and everything like that. But I only played one game. It was the first possession in the second game, I came down on my ankle. But while I was there, it was a good experience,” Koenig said.
As a Badger, Koenig played in 148 games, started in 94 games, and shot 41 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range over his four-year career for Wisconsin. He holds the single-season school record with 103 3-pointers and 270 3-pointers for a career school record.
Koenig helped the Badgers to 13 NCAA tournament wins, back-to-back Final Four, four straight Sweet 16, and 115 combined wins while completing his degree in Life Sciences Communication.
The Milwaukee Bucks aren’t the only team that will look at Koenig. “I have quite a few more,” Koenig said.  After his injury he said “it’s just kind of day to day.”
Koenig said he’s biggest thing is just to not get out of himself. He wants to play his game and show what he can do.
“Scouts know what I can do, what I can’t do,” Koenig said. He is confident he can play the point or shooting guard positions.
“Obviously, every team is different. But I know I can do either one. I can handle the ball. I can make my teammates. And I can also shoot the hell out of the ball,” Koenig said.
“I think I really want to show that I can make my teammates better and put them in position to score. Especially since I’ll be playing with some really good players, whoever I get picked up by.”