Blair Burnett, Wilde Lake, basketball

Q&A --

February 07, 2007|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,Sun Reporter

When Wilde Lake senior forward Blair Burnett started playing organized basketball in the seventh grade, it was obvious how much catching up he had to do in all facets of the game, he said. After earning second-team All-County honors last season, the 6-foot-4 Burnett is averaging 16.5 points and eight rebounds as the Wildecats' go-to player and team captain. Burnett, a member of the National Honor Society with a weighted 4.0 grade point average, is the school's Student Government Association president and the drum major in the band, and he plays golf. With plans to major in political science, he is considering Ivy League schools Pennsylvania and Brown, along with Williams College in western Massachusetts.

How difficult was it starting to play organized basketball in the seventh grade while most of the other players had time in?

It was tough. My dribbling ability was horrible, I had no ball-handling skills, I had to learn to shoot. I was always pretty tall, so I could always get in there and rebound. But then I learned the fundamentals of the game, and that's what I pride myself on today.

What have you learned about yourself through basketball?

Just that you can really do anything, if you work at it. I came in not having a lot of skills, and I never thought I would be shooting threes out there, bringing the ball up and all that stuff. If you just practice, you can do it. I've been practicing the last three years to be able to do things. My time came in my senior year -- I was trying to do it my sophomore year, my junior year and Coach [Phil Chenier] would be like: "Blair, you shouldn't be dribbling the ball up there like that." But now he has faith in me that I can do it, and I showed that I can through work. That's the same for everything else -- just work at it, get comfortable and you can do it.

How do you juggle all the activities you're involved in?

I think the structure actually keeps me well-rounded and doing things I love. There's not a lot of time for messing around and My vice president and I had a huge poster with our faces on it, and we just went around meeting as many people as we could -- handing out cookies and candy -- whatever it took. It was real fun.

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