Balling Around the World: Hobbs reflects on basketball career

Jan. 19—This story originally appeared in the News and Tribune's Sports Magazine.

JEFFERSONVILLE — Braydon Hobbs has dribbled a ball for more than three decades.

But his career came to a tragic end in the middle of March. During a game for Basketball Löwen Braunschweig, a team in the German Bundesliga, the former New Albany star slipped with his Adidas shoes on a newly-placed sticker on the wooden court inside the 8,000-seat capacity Volkswagen Halle. Hobbs required surgery to mend his left shoulder.

"Logistically, I have a daughter that's 8 now and we were taking her in and out of schools," Hobbs said. "I had the surgery and some contracts came in and they were pretty lame in comparison to what I was making. I had a job opportunity present itself here so I came back and the rest is history. I would have played one more year if I didn't have that surgery. The surgery set me back and the workouts weren't the same. I had a feeling it was time to give it up."

A 12-year basketball career saw the former New Albany player travel the world, from Australia, Italy, Spain and Germany. Hobbs said he spent a night in 40 countries.

"Australia was the first country that I stepped out of the US and I never looked back," he said. "It had been extremely fun to travel and a lot of people don't get to travel in their lifetime. The experience with my family for the last 12 years was unbelievable. It was great and I wouldn't change it for anything."


Hobbs' family grew up around basketball and the future New Albany player joined in.

Hobbs' older brother, Derick Hobbs, played for the Bulldogs from 2001-05. He went on to play one year at Div. II Saginaw Valley State before transferring to Indiana Southeast. The older Hobbs played in one game for the Grenadiers and totaled two rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Rick Hobbs, Derick and Braydon's father, played at Silver Creek and was the leading scorer in Clark County for the 1977-78 season. The Dragons won the Madison Sectional championship in part to Hobbs' 19.1 points per game.

Just like his brother, Braydon found his way to play for the Bulldogs. He said he began playing basketball when he was 2-3.

"I always had a ball in my hands," Hobbs said. "I just started playing when I was at a young age and I always felt like it was special to me. I was good at it and a lot of my friends and my family played. Plus I'm in Indiana and every kid plays for the most part. It was embedded in me since I was a little kid."

In his senior year for the Bulldogs, Hobbs led in assists (174), steals (108) and scoring (15.5 points per game). He became the school's all-time assists leader (423) and finished his career second in steals (244). Hobbs flirted with a triple-double in his junior season in a Hoosier Hills Conference showdown against Madison on Jan. 12, 2007. He finished with 10 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

Hobbs finished his career by winning back-to-back sectional titles, one regional title and a Final Four finish as a senior. He earned The Evening News Area Player of the Year award to finish his high school career for the Bulldogs. Hobbs had one last opportunity to represent New Albany as he became the 13th Bulldog to play for the Indiana All-Star team.

Hobbs went on to play for the Bellarmine University Knights from 2008-12. He never missed a game for the Knights as a starting point guard. He started for the Knights in all 133 contests including the postseason runs.

"I was just fortunate and injuries happen in crazy ways," Hobbs said. "The only serious injury that I had was that one slip on a sticker and you see what it did. I was able to have a long career because I wasn't prone to injuries."

Hobbs was part of the 2010-11 Div. II National Championship winning team. The Knights won 71-68 against BYU Hawaii in Springfield, Mass. During the championship game, Hobbs hit a free throw with 23.3 seconds left to give the Knights a four-point lead at 69-65. Additionally, Hobbs provided a key steal and assist to Justin Benedetti for a layup in the first half. Hobbs finished the championship game with 10 points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals.

"It was the most nervous I have felt on a basketball court was in the national championship game," Hobbs said. "You can't simulate that feeling shooting in a national championship game and it was a great experience."

In his senior season in 2011, Hobbs was named the National Player of the Year, the first Knight's athlete to earn the feat. Additionally, he was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2012. He was also a two-time All-American in his junior and senior seasons and the 2009 GLVC Freshman of the Year.

Hobbs graduated from Bellarmine in 2012 with a degree in criminal justice. He said he thought his basketball career was going to be over. But his opportunities were just beginning.

"I wasn't even thinking about playing overseas," Hobbs said. "Then, I talked with my dad and talked to some of the guys that played overseas, David Scott being one of the players. He talked me into giving it a try."


Hobbs' trial of playing overseas led him to join the Mackay Meteors, part of the Queensland Basketball League in Australia. Mackay is a mining city north of Brisbane on the coast.

"I was in heaven because I was fishing a lot and playing basketball on the side," Hobbs said. "It was a great experience for me to get outside of the country. I was a homebody in college and I didn't travel much. I met some cool guys and two of my good buddies are from Australia. I wouldn't trade it for anything and it paid off."

Hobbs led the Queensland Basketball League with an 44.11 3-point shooting. He helped Mackay win 100-82 over the Rockhampton Rockets for the QBL title.

After playing a season with the Meteors, Hobbs turned his attention to Europe where he signed with Caceres Ciudad del Baloncesto in Spain in Aug. 2012. He averaged 7.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

In the following year, Hobbs returned to Australia in May 2013 to play for the Gladstone Port City Power. He was named to the All-league team when he won the 3-point percentage title by shooting 45.69 % and led the league in assists. He played for Gladstone until August when he signed a 1-year deal with Alba Fehervar of Hungary and played 32 games.

In August 2014, Hobbs signed with Numberger BC for the 2014-15 ProA season. He played 38 games for Numberger and earned league Player of the Year honors.

In April 2015, Hobbs returned to the Meteors. During the season, he went up against Jeremy Kendle, a former teammate at Bellarmine, who joined the Toowoomba Mountaineers. The Meteors went up against the Mountaineers in the QBL semifinals with Mackay winning 104-92 to advance to the championship. The Meteors won the grand final in a best-of-3 series against the Brisbane Capitals. Hobbs was named the Grand Final MVP and totaled 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in the final game.

In June 2015, Hobbs signed with the Gieben 46ers of the German Basketball Bundesliga. Hobbs helped the 46ers to a 17-17 record that year and averaged 10.5 points per game. After a year playing for the 46ers, Hobbs signed with Ratiopharm Ulm in a return to Germany. Hobbs led the team in assists with 5.4 per game during the 2016-17 season. Ratiopharm won the regular season title and made an appearance in the playoff semifinals.

Hobbs signed a two-year deal with Bayern Munich in July 2017. He then continued playing in Germany with another two-year contract, this time with EWE Baskets Oldenburg. After spending some time in Germany, Hobbs signed with Monbus Obradoiro fo the Spanish Liga ACB in July 2021. He then returned to Germany and finished his career with Basketball Lowen Braunschweig with 293 points, 90 rebounds and 145 assists in 24 games played in the 2022-23 season.

"Going to a Div. II college helped pave the way for my success and I wouldn't change it for anything," Hobbs said. "A lot of people ask me why I went Div. II over Div. I, but I think taking that route set me better for the professional career as far as getting more recognition for a Div. II school instead of a mid-major Div. I school."


Hobbs has traded in his gym shorts for slacks nowadays.

He works remotely as a customer business manager for Congo Brands, a full-service product development hub, creating innovative brands from conception to reality. He has a wife, Sadie; one daughter, Haven; two sons, Cormic and Benson.

"I wouldn't change my basketball career for anything," Hobbs said. "I got some awesome experiences from traveling in Europe and different places in the world because of it."