Oregon State senior forward Joe Burton will graduate from the school in June after a four-year career and over 1,000 points scored.
But although many college players with such a pedigree look to play professional basketball after their careers end — as Burton will also do — Burton’s mother said that he could also go the route of motivational speaker.
“He would like to play professionally whether it be here in the United States or overseas,” his mother, Dondi Silvas, said by phone this week. While finishing school, he is playing for the Salem Sabres in the International Basketball League, a professional men’s spring basketball league, she said.
She said he also wants to give back to the native community by becoming a motivational speaker at some point. Raised on the Soboba Reservation, Burton and his family moved to Hemet so he could play basketball for West Valley High School.
Burton’s situation is unique for a prominent college basketball player as he was raised on the Soboba Reservation and not many Division I players have spent time growing up on a reservation.
Also featured in George Dohrmann’s Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine, Burton’s career from high school through college has been well-documented and playing for Craig Robinson –the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama –should also give Burton some unique experiences that he can share in his motivational speaking.
Burton began his community service to the Native American community during college, so this would be a natural extension of his previous work, which included the encouragement of Native Americans to participate in sports through Nike’s N7 program. Oregon State’s graduation ceremonies take place on June 15th, where Burton plans on graduating with a degree in ethic studies.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.
For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year.
On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.
Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.
Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.
In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.
As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.
(More to come from Chapel Hill…)
North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.
(H/T: The Cauldron)