Posted On: 06/6/19 10:16 AM
It has a been a long journey for Terrell Burden. Starting out at McEachern, he dealt with being in the shadows behind others and not getting any varsity experience his first 2 years of high school. After transferring to Campbell going into his junior season, Burden took Cobb County by storm, putting up huge numbers and showing everyone what he was capable of. Even with that, he was still overlooked and doubted because of his size. Finally, on May 22nd, Burden was awarded with an offer from Kennesaw State by new HC Amir Abdur-Rahim. After visiting yesterday, Burden felt like KSU was the best place for him and ended his recruitment. The electric PG gives insight here into his decision and what’s ahead for him as he makes the transition to college.
During his official visit, Burden immediately felt comfortable. KSU’s new staff is being very aggressive on the recruiting trail and they are making the right moves. “The whole coaching staff made me feel great during my official visit. They told me what they are going to help me improve on, and they were very straight-forward and honest.” Not far from where he lives now, the proximity of KSU’s campus was attractive to Burden also. It will provide him with a smooth transition and allow for lots of local support. “Another thing that was big was that I’m going to be close to home and my family, which means everything to me.” His familiarity with the program and discussions with the coaching staff made him feel like he will fit in and be able to thrive in the program. After seeing some rumors that Jamie Lewis may not end up playing for the Owls, that could give Burden a great opportunity in the backcourt alongside Tyler Hooker and Danny Lewis. He’s looking forward to joining the program, saying “I believe I should fit in very well with the players they already have at KSU. I just need to build chemistry with them when I get there.” He has shown he can play with lots of different types of players and adapt to new situations, so I’m sure Burden will figure things out quickly once he arrives at Kennesaw State.
As mentioned before, Burden was constantly questioned because of his size, impacting his recruitment for pretty much his entire high school career. That always seems to come up, but you can’t argue with the results. Burden was awarded Co-Region POY in arguably the toughest region in the state, averaging 23.2 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.8 APG, and 2.3 SPG. The lack of recognition from coaches got to Burden at times, but he continued to put his head down and work. “The process was long and I had times where I got very down on myself, but I surround myself with great people who only motivate me to keep striving. They reminded that my time was coming soon so I don’t need to be worried.” I can speak to Burden’s work ethic, having seen it first-hand. I have been around many of Burden’s workouts with Mark Edwards since he was a freshman. Many early mornings, late nights, and extra work when no one is around went into his development and rise to the top of Cobb County’s basketball scene. His effort never wavered even when going through tough times, and he has finally been rewarded. Burden took full advantage of the EYBL stage this spring as an unsigned senior, producing against the nation’s best. He has shown that he can compete with anyone.
Burden is hoping to show in college that his size will not hinder his ability to be effective, just like he did in high school. Other Georgia products like Jared Harper, Bubba Parham, and Zach Cooks were considered to be “too small” by many, but have made tons of noise in the college ranks. Burden is heading to KSU with the right mindset, saying “I’m hoping to show that size doesn’t matter if the person has the dog and fight in him to get things done. I’m getting better and better year by year to show that I can be very efficient and build up my IQ and overall game every day.” Burden is a blur in the open court, he’s extremely tough, and he’s highly skilled with the ball in his hands. To go with his skill, he has already learned some of the tricks to negating his size disadvantage. Burden attacks the basket fearlessly and seeks out contact unlike most, drawing fouls and getting to the line often. He has continued to add consistency to his jumper and he’s an explosive athlete. Burden has the tools, both physically and mentally, that’ll put him in good position for success in college.
Also citing that a multitude of people influenced and supported him, Burden gave appreciation to those that have been there for him throughout this journey. Burden mentioned his whole family, friends, coaches, and trainers as playing a part in his success, saying “They always had a vision and end goal in mind for me. They were going to do as much as they can to help out, from being a positive influence in my life every day to helping me become a better man.” A new era has started as Kennesaw State and bringing in guys like Burden is a great start to igniting change and shifting the culture of the KSU basketball program. Amir Abdur-Rahim and his staff are covering a lot of ground and making sure that KSU is a presence within the state. People like to talk about size, but what they should focus on is production, and that’s what Burden gives you.