ASU freshman Josh Christopher enjoys brotherly love on and off court
When he first committed to Arizona State back in April, guard Josh Christopher was excited at the thought of playing for the Bobby Hurley-led Sun Devils.
But there was another motivation behind his school choice: the chance to play with his brother, sophomore guard Caleb Christopher, again.
“It’s almost a dream come true,” Josh told reporters via Zoom on Monday.
“I watched my brother really grind to get where he’s at. A lot of people don’t see or pay attention, but that boy really works his tail off. … My brother’s my best friend. That’s my dog.”
The freshman standout hasn’t played alongside his older brother since high school and is relishing the fact that he’s back with Caleb both on the court and under the same roof.
“That was the most important thing for me when it came down to making my decision. Was it go to college or go get paid?” Christopher said.
“Forget basketball, my brother’s in Arizona going to college and I have the opportunity to live with my brother, make more memories with my brother, we can tell our kids about it. It’s not often people get to go to school with their brother or be as close to home.”
Christopher, a five-star shooting guard out of Lakewood, Calif., put up 29.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game as senior.
He’s the highest-ranked player since James Harden in 2007 to commit to ASU’s basketball program.
Fans may think that’s the reason he chose to wear Harden’s retired No. 13 (with Harden’s blessing), but Christopher says differently.
Josh wore 13 in high school, while his brother donned No. 3, completing a bible verse from Psalms that the freshman recited by heart.
“How beautiful, how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity,” he said. “My brother wears 3 here so I think it was important for me to wear my 13, so my brother and me can match as we used to.”
Unity is expected on the court not just from the brothers but from the entire ASU team this season.
The team walks into the Mohegan Sun tournament next week ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press’ Top-25 preseason poll. It’ll be a true test for ASU kicking off the season Nov. 25 against No. 2 ranked Baylor.
Christopher says the team is ready for the challenge.
“Everything we do right now in practice is leading up to that,” he said.
“I think it’s good that we go out to Mohegan Sun and we get put to the test right away. … I definitely have a lot of trust in this team just so early. I know a lot of teams haven’t had a whole lot of time to practice due to COVID, so I think this season will rely on potentially how much talent a team can have and then some more.”