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Christian Burns never gives up


At the Hamilton High School in Trenton, New Jersey, Christian Burns was just an ordinary student whose favorite sport or perhaps the one he was able to excel in was soccer. He played basketball too but he was a 1.78 mt guard, a bit ‘more athletic than the average guy but nothing striking. This for two years.

Then suddenly the guard of 1.78 became a two-meter forward that knew how to push the ball in the open court. He stopped playing soccer and devoted himself only to basketball. In his fourth year of high school he scored 19.8 points per game with 15.3 rebounds. He was included in the third All-State team and in New Jersey the tale t level is hiatorically high. That’s how he got a scholarship to play at Quinnipiac. But after two years spent sitting on the bench he decided to take a step back. He got in contact with Herb Magee, an esteemed Philadelphia University coach, a man with over 1,000 career victories and still active at nearly 80 years of age. Philadelphia U is a Division II school but it is a respected place. Burns exploded. In his second year he was named Player of the Year in Division II. Enough to have a chance in the NBA or at least to have the right to try.

It was 2007. The Philadelphia 76ers made the nice gesture of bringing a local boy to the summer league. Burns played well enough but was not invited to the training camp. The Sixers needed a guard and sacrificed him. He did not give up and decided to try his hand at the European experience, starting with Poland at Koszalin. Certainly not a soft approach for a guy who had never set foot outside the United States. From Koszalin to Portugal where it exploded, then Germany and Ukraine as successive steps. It was 2011 and he really thought about going to the NBA. It was the right time. There was interest.

But there was also the lockout that lasted 161 days, eliminated the summer league and kept Burns from being seen by the clubs interested. The dream shattered and he returned to Europe to play in Israel where he injured himself. “That was the moment when I physically transformed myself. I was so determined to get better than before that I practically lived in the gym. And since I could not run, I worked a lot on my shooting from outside, “he said. It was Montegranaro who benefited from the work. From there he moved to Russia and then to the Czech Republic winning the title with Nymburk. Finally the United Arab Emirates and the return to Italy. As a top player, first in Brescia then in Cantù, finishing first rebounds per game and in index rating. In the middle there was a European Championship played with the Italian National team. And at the age of 33, he is set to make his EuroLeague debut with Olimpia. The proof that Christian Burns is a man who never gives up.