After 2 years coaching with Russ Pennell at Grand Canyon University and completing his Masters in Business Administration with a focus in leadership Matt Brase started a career with the Houston Rockets last October. He currently works in the basketball operations department and focuses mainly on player personnel, scouting college and international players as well as current NBA players. He has also been given the opportunity to do some player development work while teaching a master's level leadership courses for Grand Canyon University.
Has this career path been your goal going through college? How did you become an NBA scout?
I always wanted to coach basketball and be around the game since I was a little kid. Being able to play for my grandfather while I was at Arizona gave me the opportunity to be around greatness everyday and learn the game at a high level. While I was at Arizona I had great teammates and coaches that I was able to learn from and take with me as I have progressed in this profession. I got my first taste of the NBA last season, thanks to another former letterwinner and teammate, Bret Brielmaier, when he hired me to do Advanced Scouting for the San Antonio Spurs on a part time basis. I was trying to get in the NBA full time and this past season my friend Dani Belinski, current University of Arizona IMG sponsorship marketing coordinator, put me in contact with someone she knew within the Rockets organization and I ended up getting a position.
What is the most exciting part of your job?
The most exciting part of the job is being able to do what I love everyday. I don't even like to call it a job because it is so enjoyable being able to be in a profession that I am passionate about. I work for a great organization and are surrounded by an unbelievable group of people. It has been an incredible learning opportunity in the seven months that I have been here in Houston.
How do you stay connected to Arizona Athletics?
I stay connected in anyway that I can. My parents still live in Tucson so when I get a chance to come home I always hope that there is a game in town. I was fortunate to come home at Thanksgiving and catch a basketball game and a football game. It also worked out that during our All Star break I got back into town and catch home basketball games against USC and UCLA. I stay in touch with the basketball staff as much as possible and never miss watching a game.
What are you most proud of being from Arizona and playing for the Cats?
It is an honor to say that I am a Wildcat. I grew up a Wildcat when my grandfather took the job when I was 2 years old, and I always dreamed of playing here. Now that I can say I played here and had the chance to coach at the University as well is amazing, It is a special place in my heart and will always continue to be. I met so many great people going to school at the University and will have lifelong friendships with them. It is truly a special University and one that I am proud to say that I am apart of. BEAR DOWN!!
Thank you Matt for all your hard work and dedication during your basketball career here at Arizona. Good luck in your new career; we wish you all the best. GO CATS!