He jokes that he’s been called a “basketball nomad” more than once by friends and former teammates, but Rashaun Broadus has loved every minute of his pro career that’s stretched from Canada to five different European countries.
And now he’s looking forward to a new chapter in his career, in the National Basketball League of Canada and the fledgling St. John’s Edge.
The 33-year-old Broadus, a six-foot point guard, is expected to provide veteran leadership and be a go-to player on the expansion Edge, which kick off its first NBL season next month.
Chances are Broadus isn’t a Hank Snow fan, but the product of Seattle, Wash., sure has been everywhere, man.
The oldest son of two U.S. Army service members, Broadus was raised “all over the place”, but eventually settled in Hawaii, his mother’s home state. It was where he attended high school and starred on the basketball team.
After graduation, Broadus caught the attention of Western Nebraska, a community college close to the Colorado border.
After a couple of productive seasons in Nebraska, Broadus was wooed by Brigham Young University, a large MCAA Division I school in Provo, Utah.
For a season and a half, Broadus started on the Cougars’ backcourt, averaging 27 minutes a game, and nine points nightly.
His second season in Provo came to an unceremonious end when he was charged with DUI by Utah state troopers following a game against San Diego State. The charge led to the rather harsh decision by BYU coach Dave Rose to remove Broadus from the roster.
It should be noted the use of alcohol by students is prohibited at BYU, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Broadus graduated from BYU, and started a lengthy pro career that began, ironically enough, in Canada 10 years ago with the Edmonton Chill of the old International Basketball League (Broadus would actually play in Edmonton, when his European season ended, for four years).
Broadus’s first European stop was Romania for one season, then Ukraine for half a year before landing in Lithuania where he would spend the next five and a half years.
After that, it was a year in Poland, back to Lithuania and then to Germany last season, where he started for SC Rasta Vechta.
While in Lithuania, Broadus earned three All-Baltic League all-star designations, was a three-time member of the All-Baltic League All-Import team and was twice voted the All-Baltic League’s guard of the year.
Interestingly enough, Broadus played for Albania in the 2016-17 Euro Basket Qualification Tournament, where he averaged almost 20 points a game.
“The Albanian national team,” he said, “had another American point guard, but at the last minute, when it was time for him to report for training camp, he told them he was no longer able to make it.
“So the team asked my agency (Octagon Management) if they had an available point guard, and that’s what ultimately led to me getting the job. I’m the first naturalized American citizen to play for the Albanian national senior men's national team.”
Broadus is married to a Canadian (Kelly) and the couple has two children (four-year-old Gabriel and Akiyah, who is nine). The family will be arriving in St. John’s next weekend, though the oldest will remain with family in Vancouver where she attends school.
“I’ve had numerous offers in Europe — one was from a Champions League team in Poland — but I’ll be applying for residency in Canada, which is the biggest reason for me staying in Canada. Looking at the future, we see our lives in Canada.”
Broadus hooked on to St. John’s thanks to Kyle Julius, who coached the NBL’s London Lightning the past two years. Broadus’s former teammate in Edmonton, Troy Gottselig, played for Julius last season.
Julius, a former Canadian national team member, is now coaching in Vietnam.
“I told him about wanting to stay in Canada, that the kids are getting older and school and all that is coming into play,” Broadus said. “He told me about this situation in St. John’s, said it would be a good situation for me. So here I am.
“I still have a love of the game, and a passion for it. I love the challenge of playing against great competition everywhere and learning more. And that’s what I want. When I’m done, I’m going to have something to do with basketball no matter what, and coaching is something that I’d like to do.
“Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve tried to learn more about the game each time, and have fun at the same time.
“This isn’t going to last forever, but I still have the drive that’s kept me going this long. And it’s not over yet.”