Ten questions for Shaylen Burnett(Southern Alamance High School), as she prepares to head to Elon University to play women’s basketball for the Phoenix, in the fall of 2014….
Andy Durham:1)How good does it feel to get that college choice behind you?
Shaylen Burnett:It feels great Andy! I am very blessed and fortunate to have had options, but this recruiting process was very stressful and emotional for me. I got to know a lot of coaches and built relationships with them, but the thought of having to pick just one was very tough for me.
AD:2)Why Elon and what other schools did you consider?
SB:There are a few reasons I chose Elon: 1) The Coach Charlotte Smith, her accomplishments are so impressive and I was taught that if you want to learn how to do something, attach yourself to someone who has done it. My dad kept telling me during this recruiting process to “choose the coach and not the name on the jersey.” 2) Close to home was a factor in my decision even though I was willing to be flexible on this if need be.
There were a number of schools I considered, UNC Charlotte, Western Carolina, Winthrop, Furman, High Point and Wake Forest.
AD:3)What factored into you selecting Elon?
SB:The coach and staff, location, academics, the campus and facilities.
AD:4)What are you doing now, during the off-season?
SB:At the present time I’m working with a personal trainer, weight lifting and conditioning, pick up games everyday with the guys. I have AAU basketball practice twice a week and high school summer workouts are about to begin as well.
AD:5)Things you wnat to accomplish at Southern Alamance during your senior year?
SB:I want to win the Metro 4A regular season and the tournament, improve upon our record, win the state championship.
AD:6)What do you think has prepared you for all of this? The training, the coaches, your parents?
SB:Mostly my parents. My mom and dad started me, my sister(Calen) and my brother(Jalen) off playing basketball as soon as we were old enough to register to play. They would not allow us to do the things that you would normally see 5 and 6 years old do on the court such as travelling, double dribbling. If we did we would have to run laps around the house- Mom called them “House laps”. I have had many coaches from recreation to school ball and into AAU and they all have made me the player that I am.
AD:7)What parts of your game do you need to imporve upon as you prepare for college?
SB:I need to improve all aspects of my game, learning to pace myself is something that I’m concentrating on now.
AD:8)Elon is close to home, is that a good thing?
SB:It’s a great thing! I have a super support system of family and friends. It was important to me to keep that system intact. To get the opportunity to play for the “home team” is a blessing in itself.
AD:9)Who has been the biggest influence on your basketball career?
SB:My parents. They would never let us doubt ourselves and kept pushing us to be the best that we could be. We would go to a gym with our parents and we would play 5 on 5 against grown men as far back as I can remember. They would tell us that these people are looking at us as a “easy win” and that they are going to play us short. Before they knew what hit them it we would be game point, then it was too late, we win!
AD:10)The first basket you ever scored, who were you playing for then???
SB:My first basket was when I was 5 years old. I played for the Silk Hope Tarheels for Chatham County recreation. It was a co-ed team and I could score easily because we played games on eight foot goals and I was trained to shoot on ten foot goals, as well as dribble with either hand. We had an awesome team, the boys would rebound, hand it to me and I would take off.
Good luck to you and thanks for answering the questions…..Andy Durham-GreensboroSports.com……