Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Former Husker Dachon Burke Working Out, Staying Ready

August 26, 2020

This year’s Omaha Metro Pro-Am Summer League, which moved into its playoff stage this week, has featured a handful of former Huskers including Anton Gill and Jason Dourisseau. The most recent Husker alumnus is Dachon Burke Jr. who played alongside Dourisseau on the Going Vertical team.

Burke transferred to Nebraska from Robert Morris and redshirted during the 2018-19 season before suiting up for the Huskers this year. Burke was one of a few Huskers who entered the transfer portal after the 7-25 season, but he ultimately decided to go pro.

Burke put up 31 points, three boards, three assists and three blocks in the Metro quarterfinals on Wednesday — his second straight 30-point game after putting up 32 in a win last week — but it wasn’t enough as Going Vertical fell to Mustangs, a team made up of current Morningside players, 92-81. He’s been hanging out in Nebraska recently, working out at Going Vertical in Omaha and competing in the league.

“I was in Jersey,” Burke told Hail Varsity. “I had finished up my internship, I had just graduated so I was done with school and everything, signed with an agency, I’m about to go pro, so I’m up here just for a little bit. I came to grab the rest of my stuff out of my apartment, play in the league and have a little fun.”

Going Vertical’s run in this year’s compacted Metro League came to an end this past Wednesday. The championship and all-star games will take place this coming Wednesday at Iowa West Field House in Council Bluffs. Burke said he enjoyed getting to compete against some of the area’s best the past few weeks.

“It’s fun, I’m not going to lie to you,” Burke said. “It’s fun. It’s a good experience because these are some of the top caliber guys from Omaha, Nebraska, who played for Creighton, Nebraska or whoever. It’s good for the youth, it’s good for the community as well. During corona, there’s not too much going on so it’s basketball. It’s fun to just be playing.”

Burke transferred to Nebraska to play for Tim Miles and spent his entire redshirt year working under Miles’ staff and preparing to play in his system. Then Nebraska made the coaching change and brought in Fred Hoiberg, and Burke was starting from square one, just like everyone else on the roster.

“It was definitely different, but it was a great experience,” Burke said. “Great coaching staff. I learned a lot, Xs and Os. My game got better — mentally, physically. It was a change, but being a player, you can’t stay stagnant. During your career you’re going to be all over. It’s going to happen. You could have a coach one year and the next it changes — you have to adapt to it. It was a great experience.”

Burke certainly had some highlight moments as a Husker and he finished the season second on the team in scoring, but he and the Nebraska program parted ways after the season. Burke both declared for the NBA Draft and put his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal, and had to navigate those uncertain waters during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Burke committed to South Alabama, but ultimately decided to hire an agent and give up his last year of college eligibility.

“It was a lot,” Burke said. “But I feel like my last decision was my best decision. I’ve been in college for four years, I got my degree — first in my family. I got to graduate and I have a diploma from the University of Nebraska. Things didn’t turn out the way I wanted at the end of the season, but it’s life. Nobody’s perfect and we’re all going to learn from little mistakes. Everything’s good.”

The uncertainty surrounding the college season played a part in his decision, but ultimately Burke said he felt like he was ready for the next phase of his life.

“It was a hard decision, but at the same time it was the best decision for myself during the tough times we’re going through now,” Burke said. “I get to graduate, just be home with my family and work on my game as well. Whether I go overseas or in the NBA, whatever opportunity comes my way, it’s already written for me. God’s got a plan for me.”

Burke signed with Odyssey Sports Group and is looking forward to whatever professional opportunities present themselves.

“I’ve been working out a lot,” Burke said. “I’m done with school now so I’ve just been working out a lot. My agency, they’re speaking to me about offers and what it’s looking like for me this upcoming season. I’m just working out and staying ready.”

As for the Huskers, Burke doesn’t know any of the newcomers but he’s still pulling for the guys he shared a locker room with this past season.

“Everybody that was there from last year that’s returning, I wish the best,” Burke said. “I hope they have a great season and make it to the tournament and all is well.”

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