04 October, 2022
14 May, 2023
to read

On another level: Record-breaking TJ Shorts wins Final Four MVP award

MALAGA (Spain) - For the first time in the seven-year long history of the Basketball Champions League, one man collected the two MVP trophies. MVP of the Season TJ Shorts was also named the Final Four MVP in Malaga on Sunday.

The Telekom Baskets Bonn point guard dominated the Final Four, scoring 50 points in two games, breaking Kevin Punter's previous record of 47 points from 2019, and with 29 points in the Final, Shorts also set a new mark for the most points scored in the title game in this competition.

All of these numbers are in line with the previous record he set by posting five straight games with 25+ points to start the season. The 25-year-old American also became the first player to string together six games of 25+ points in a single BCL campaign.

Unreal for a player with no Division I scholarship offers, who had to work his way through Latvia and Germany to stardom. Unreal for a 175cm/5'9'' basketball player.

"Obviously I'm asked that question a lot being a smaller player, and the message is the same, it sounds cliche but - if there's something that you wanna do, and you put your mind to it, and you put a 100 percent into what you want to do, you can achieve anything," Shorts explained his path.

"You just put in work, after work, after work. Eventually, if you put a 100 percent into what you want to do, it will unfold for you and you'll be able to have the world at your fingertips. And it goes for anything. Obviously, here the setting is basketball, but if you wanna become an engineer, if you wanna become a soccer player, whatever it is, if you put your mind to it, you can do it."

Two things are very obvious in every interview or press conference with TJ. He will talk about his faith and he will talk about his family. The first thing he did after the game was running into the stands to hug his mother, on this, a very special Mother's Day.

"This is definitely a Mother's Day I will never forget. Before the game, you're just in a whirlwind of emotions, I know my parents were probably more stressed out than me. I know my dad couldn't eat, my mom's probably freaking out... But after the game, when you get to embrace those emotions just let out. I told her: 'Happy Mother's Day!' and she said it's the best gift that she ever received, just seeing me happy."

Shorts will need another suitcase when he leaves Bonn and heads back home to Irvine, California after the season. Along with the Season MVP, Season first team, and Final Four MVP awards in the BCL, he was also voted the Most Valuable Player of the German easyCredit BBL.

"The next step is some cold drink, maybe some water, recovery, a little celebration with the team. Those things in the future, they are uncontrollable, you can't worry about those things in these kind of moments. Can't worry about those things when you're playing in a season. I'm a firm believer in God, and I know what He has written for me, no one can take that. Whatever is in my future, postseason, end of this season - I'll handle it when that time comes, but right now I'm gonna enjoy this one with my coaches, with my teammates, with my family."