By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal
GRAND RAPIDS – London Burris is finally back where he belongs … on the basketball court.
After winning two state titles at Western Michigan Christian High School, the star guard was poised to head to Alabama State to begin his collegiate career with the Hornets.
And after one year working out and honing his game, Burris was under the impression he would land a spot on the school’s Division 1 roster for this season.
It didn’t work out as planned.
“They had me working out, but I guess the head coach and the assistant coach weren’t on the same page and I didn’t like how it was organized, so I left,” said Burris, who never saw any game action for Alabama State.
He headed north and landing in Adrian to play for the Siena Heights University Saints, an NAIA program.
“It was basically since Day 1, they said if things don’t work out at Alabama State, we’re always here,” said Burris, who led the Saints with 15 points in Wednesday’s 66-44 loss at Aquinas. Besides leading the team in points, he had five rebounds and three steals in a team-high 29 minutes of action.
Burris joined Siena Heights several weeks ago. He is permitted to play immediately because he transferred from Division 1 to NAIA.
Burris has played five games with Siena Heights, the last three in a starting role. He is averaging 8.4 points per game and has hit 10-of-34 shots from beyond the 3-point line.
While the Siena Heights team isn’t faring so well in the win-loss column right now, Burris, a freshman, isn’t discouraged one bit.
“We’ve still got some kinks to work out,” Burris said. The Saints are 5-15 after Wednesday’s setback. “I think during the playoffs, we will be there. We just have to get more confident in ourselves.”
And not hostility toward the guy who just joined the team at the semester break.
“They are friendly and everything,” Burris said. “We’re like a big, old family. They just welcomed me in.”
For Burris, balancing his time with basketball and with academics also is a bit of a challenge.
“It’s going good, I have to keep up my grades and everything to stay eligible, but it’s going good so far,” Burris said.