Point guard wears maize and blue across Columbus
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A University of Michigan recruit, the 6-foot-1 point guard wears his maize and blue everywhere around Ohio's capital city. Needless to say, some people take umbrage at a Michigan fan in the heart of Ohio State country.
"They try to give me a hard time here when I go to the store or to the barbershop or something like that," Burke said with a laugh. "But I know it's all love at the end of the day. I'm going to have a lot of support from a lot of family and friends when I go there."
Burke even sported a Michigan hat and shirt while sitting right behind the top-ranked Buckeyes bench when they hosted Michigan on Feb. 3.
"He's a very brave young man," Wolverines coach John Beilein said after that 62-53 loss. "He was all dressed in blue and coming into this place. We can't wait to coach him. He's going to help us a great deal."
Burke makes it three in a row for Northland, with current Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger winning the Mr. Basketball award the past two seasons. It's the first time that any high school has produced more than one Mr. Basketball.
Sullinger's dad, Satch Sullinger, is also Burke's coach. He says that players prosper in an environment where they are permitted some freedom to play the way they like to play.
Burke, selected as the 24th annual winner of the Mr. Basketball award in balloting by a state media panel, averaged 23.9 points, 6.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals in the regular season while shooting 61 percent from the field, including 48 percent from three-point range (39 of 81).
Jared Sullinger is one of his best friends. He jokes that he might just have to pick off Burke with an elbow if the two meet on a Big Ten court next season -- should Sullinger elect to return next season to Ohio State rather than jump to the NBA, which his father indicated.
"He's like a big brother to me," Burke said of the 6-9 Sullinger, who won the Mr. Basketball award in both 2009 and 2010.
"I'm the type of player that I just love to win," said Burke.
A solid student -- he had a 3.7 grade-point average last grading period and he carries a GPA of just under 3.0 for his high school years -- Burke is a blend of basketball IQ, speed and agility in action.
Others considered for the award included Travis Trice II of Huber Heights Wayne, Brunswick's Pat Forsythe, Trey Lewis of Garfield Heights and Jalen Ragland of Chillicothe.