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Ryken’s Burgess signs intent to play basketball for University of Delaware


Staff writer

Yell at her.

Coach her up.

Pull her to the sidelines and tell her she is not hustling enough.

Say whatever you want to Brittani Burgess, but just do not lie to the St. Mary’s Ryken Knights senior, she only wants the truth.

Burgess, a senior forward on the Knights girls basketball team, appreciates the truth and it was the truth-telling of University of Delaware women’s head basketball coach Tina Martin that aided in Burgess deciding to play basketball there after her Ryken career is over.

The exactness in Martin’s words played, perhaps, the biggest role in Burgess taking advantage of the early signing period and signing her letter of intent to play for the NCAA Division I school.

“She gave me the truth,” Burgess said of Martin. “She didn’t try to sugarcoat anything at all. She told me that if I wanted to play that I would have to work hard. She told me there was no position promised to me there and that I would have to fight for my position with all of the other players coming in. I liked that. I liked how she was upfront with me.”

She went on to add, “With other coaches, it just seemed like something was missing, like they were not telling me everything.”

Burgess received a full scholarship to play for the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association regular season and tournament champion Blue Hens and, without forgetting about her newly-started Ryken season, has been eager to get on the Delaware campus.

“I’m excited,” Burgess said. “I am ready to get out there and I’m ready to play against people that are better than me. I am just ready to get there and have been thinking about it every day.”

Playing with her Amateur Athletic Union basketball team, the Virginia Cardinals under head coach Stan King, Burgess admitted Delaware first took notice of her the summer following her sophomore year.

While on the AAU circuit again this past summer, the relationship between Burgess and Delaware continued to grow until it boiled over into an early-September official visit.

That official visit is what led to Burgess deciding that is where she wanted to be.

“Delaware has everything,” Burgess, a future marketing major, said. “Outside of basketball, it has the academics, the campus, the people and it’s only two hours away from home, which I like. For basketball, I think coach Tina and her staff are going to make me a better player and a better person.”

After that official visit, when Burgess left, she did not need, nor want, to go to any other school for an official visit.

“It happened just like that,” Burgess said, “I fell in love with it.”

With her college decision out of the way and settled, Burgess, an All-County girls basketball team member last year, can now focus all of her basketball energy into winning a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship in her senior season.

“There is a lot off of my mind now,” Burgess said. “I don’t have to stress about everything. I would go to bed thinking about what decision I was going to make and when I’m going to make it, but now, I can just focus on my academics at Ryken and my basketball at Ryken.

“I want to win the WCAC. I had that goal last year and that didn’t get done, but this year I know we are going to win the WCAC. I am confident in this team and in this [Ryken head] coach [Kris Sandberg]. She has a lot of her ideas in her head that she wants to do with us.”