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Brandon Rechsteiner, son of Big Poppa Pump, commits to Hokies

Brandon Rechsteiner, son of Big Poppa Pump, commits to Hokies

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (BVM) – Etowah High School rising senior basketball player Brandon Rechsteiner has athletic genes to say the least. His father, Scott, was an All-American wrestler at the University of Michigan in the 1980s as was his uncle Rick. His cousin, Bronson, was a standout fullback for Kennesaw State University before joining the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2020. To say athletic prowess runs in the family would be an understatement and soon it will be Brandon’s turn to have a successful career at the collegiate level.

On July 15, Brandon announced his commitment to Virginia Tech. He chose the Hokies over other vaunted programs including Georgia Tech, Miami, Tennessee and Xavier.

“It feels good, I feel like I made the right choice,” Brandon said. “They checked all the boxes. When I was going through what matters to me everything was perfect. I trust that they have and I have a good relationship with the coaches up there. They’ve done it with guys like me, same build, same type of players so everything just stuck out with them.”

Virginia Tech gets a star on the rise with Brandon. A three-star recruit, Brandon ranks as the No. 24 point guard and the No. 9 overall prospect in Georgia for the Class of 2023. His commitment is the first for the Hokies in the class.

“I see myself similar to [former Hokies guard] Storm Murphy or [current guard] Sean Pedulla coming in, a shotmaker, passer, facilitator who just plays hard and runs the team,” Brandon said. “It feels good [being first] because I’m the point guard and usually they’re the leader so I’m going in and trying to build a big class. They gave me some guys that they’re looking at and some dudes I think would help so I’m definitely going to be a big recruiter.”

While Brandon hasn’t yet had the opportunity to show his skills to a national audience, he shouldn’t be too shy of the spotlight as being in front of the camera is something the Rechstenier family is used to. Fans may know Brandon’s dad and uncle, Scott and Rick, as the fearful Steiner Brothers of pro wrestling fame. The pair, following their time at Michigan when Scott graduated in 1986 two years after his older brother, would join the American Wrestling Association where they would become famous.

Scott Steiner Big Poppa Pump WWE
Scott Steiner, left, would become famous in professional wrestling circles both as his namesake as well as his later iteration “Big Poppa Pump” (Credit: Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

The Steiner Brother tag team would wrestle a few years in the AWA before jumping to the biggest wrestling company-the World Wrestling Federation later rebranded as World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE. The bros debuted in January 1993, repping their Michigan letterman jackets and classic wrestling attire like headgear and singlets. 

The pair would wrestle in the company for a while, even winning the WWE Tag Team Championship twice. 

While the two would split in storylines and bounce between World Championship Wrestling and WWE, with Scott famously rebranding himself as Big Poppa Pump in the early 2000s, they would always be remembered as one of the better tag teams of the era. This recognition helped the brothers earn a spot into the WWE Hall of Fame in April.

“It’s been really cool. I got to see how everything works and the reality of everything,” Brandon said. “He instilled good traits like hard work and how to deal with certain stuff so it was really cool but I don’t really know anything different.”

The wrestling heritage even rubbed off on Bronson, who after failing to make it in the NFL joined WWE’s training program, NXT. There Bronson would take up the persona Bron Brekker and was named the program’s champion in January. 

“They instilled a good work ethic in me just watching them,” Brandon said. “I remember in fifth grade when my cousin was a senior in high school he would take me where he worked out called Fear & Performance so he instilled a good work ethic in me, my dad did that for me. It also just keeps you humble. They went to the highest level. Bronson was in the NFL, now he’s in the WWE. My dad was All-American and WWE and my uncle was as well. I have to live up to it, they went as far as they could go really.”

At first, Brandon’s family full of wrestlers and tough guys were a bit surprised to hear that the athlete, who was also a good football player, would focus on basketball after ninth grade.

“My cousin wanted me to be a football player and so did my dad, they didn’t really care but they didn’t want to see me give it up,” Brandon said. “When I told my dad I was going to give it up he was kind of upset but he wanted what’s best for me. My cousin was mad because he told everyone I was going to be next up, kind of like how he was.”

The decision has paid off, however.

Though Brandon does not share the same sport as his bloodline, that doesn’t mean he’s not excellent in his own right. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound point guard put up a solid showing last season for the Etowah Eagles, averaging 16.5 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 41.4% from beyond the 3-point line. This helped the Eagles to a 16-11 record though they would fall in the regional tournament and the first round of the Georgia High School Association 7A playoffs.

“With the success, it’s been really good,” Brandon said. “My dad is happy for me and my cousin called me the other day saying how proud he was and stuff. They didn’t understand why I was doing it but I was doing what’s best for me.”

Brandon Rechsteiner Etowah High School Eagles boys basketball
Brandon excelled for the Etowah Eagles as a junior, averaging 16.5 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 41.4% from beyond the 3-point line. (Credit: Jason Dasinger)

Thanks to his strong junior campaign and solid showings during the travel team schedule with the Atlanta All-Stars, Brandon quickly garnered more recruiting attention and received offers through June and July from the likes of Clemson, LSU, Northwestern and Notre Dame in addition to his final five. Ultimately, it was the Hokies who won out.

“As far as sports, [my dad] doesn’t push me or persuade me in any way. He was kind of telling me to go do what’s best for you and telling me certain stuff to look for and what he’s looking for,” Brandon said. “He was just telling me why he chose his school and what I should look for but he didn’t care where I went. He was going to support me no matter what.”

Brandon Rechsteiner Scott Steiner
Brandon’s dad never pushed him to stick to a sport or to where to go to school, leaving Brandon to make his own path. (Courtesy: @b_roc0/Twitter)

While not focusing too much on the future, rather preparing for his final season at Etowah, Brandon admits he has thought about his time in Blacksburg and the NIL opportunities his name and family’s reputation could provide him in the future.

“Obviously it’s something I’m working on, I’ve talked to my dad about it and my cousin about it,” Brandon said. “There’s no rush. I’m going to keep the main thing the main thing right now. I’m really focused on basketball, but it would be great if it happens.”

Once he arrives on campus at Virginia Tech expect Brandon to give his 141⅔% (like his dad) for the Hokies and prove that there is no jump shot finer than Rechsteiner’s.

“I’m a leader, someone that’s going to do the right thing,” Brandon said. “I’m going to play hard every single play, make the right play. [They’re getting] a hard worker. I’m going to work to become the best player I can.”

Brandon Rechsteiner Virginia Tech Hokies men's basketball
Brandon will look to continue his family’s collegiate legacy when he suits up for the Hokies as a member of the Class of 2023. (Courtesy: @brandon.rechsteiner/Instagram)

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