The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Appalachian backup point guard is not new to fame

Freshman point guard Chris Burgess shoots the winning shot during overtime against Georgia Southern in last Thursday’s game.

Freshman point guard Chris Burgess shoots the winning shot during overtime against Georgia Southern in last Thursday’s game.A year ago, a man Appalachian State point guard Mike Neal calls “Tiny” had big shoes to fill for his family: go to college, get an education and play a big part on a college basketball team.

Freshman business major Chris Burgess was being recruited by Wofford, UCF, Gardner-Webb and Alabama at one point, but ultimately chose ASU as his home.

“I felt like I had the best opportunity to get better and grow as a player and a student,” Burgess said. “My family and I talked over it and looked at all the schools that I had possible, and as a family we picked Appalachian because we felt it would be the best for me.”

 

 

Burgess said being from Lakeland, Fla., has not helped him adjust to the chilled nights of Boone, but playing as a freshman has made him a lot better.

“When I first came in, I wasn’t sure how to run the offense,” Burgess said. “I had to learn how to get my shots while getting the other players theirs. The biggest thing to adjust to was the speed of the game. It’s fast but I’ve become more comfortable in my role.”

It helps that Burgess’ roommate is the guard he backs up. Neal said that he is trying to make the transition as smooth as possible and noticed that Burgess has had a big boost of confidence.
Burgess is one of the best backups in the league, Neal said.

“He comes in and contributes to the game,” he said. “Most backup guards come in for a couple minutes and try to stay solid because they’re not that good, but he comes in and is just as good as any other guard in our conference.”

With 12 seconds on the clock Jan. 24 against Georgia Southern, Burgess was faced with another big decision as time was running out.

“My junior year in high school, I hit four or five game winners throughout the whole season,” Burgess said. “This situation wasn’t really new to me. It was just at another level but I’ve been through this situation before where I had to hit a clutch shot.”

And a clutch shot is what he hit.

The play that was drawn up by head coach Jason Capel, for the ball to go to team captain Nate Healy, but the Eagles defense would surround him with hands. Burgess pulled up and shot from 24 feet to help Appalachian seal the victory.

Burgess is waiting for his role as a full-time player, but is enjoying the position he plays now.

“When it’s my turn, I’ll be more than ready,” Burgess said. “We have a really good point guard in, Mike Neal, and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him and the coaching staff right now.”

Burgess is playing on average 17.9 minutes a game and is currently averaging 3.7 points per game off the bench, according to goasu.com. He has already made plans for his future.

“It was a big deal for me to get into college,” Burgess said. “Basketball will end soon, so I would need to get a job, maybe as a coach on the high school level or college level.”

Burgess will continue to help the Mountaineers on their Southern Conference title run when they return home Saturday, Feb. 2 to play Western Carolina at the Holmes Convention Center at 4:30 p.m.

Story: JAMES ASHLEY, Sports Reporter

Photo: ANEISY CARDO, Staff Photographer

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1065
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1065
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *