It is always a breath of fresh air when you meet an athlete who is sincerely humble – someone who breaks through the stereotypical cocky, “me-me-me” attitude; he is a player who gives the majority of the credit to his or her teammates.
Springfield College men’s basketball player, Robbie Burke, encompasses that ethical morale of a selfless player. Burke transferred to Springfield College from Colby-Sawyer his sophomore year. Transitioning from a Charger to a member of the Pride was surprisingly simple for the senior.
“My transition went well. My role [as the lead scorer] changed once I came to Springfield College,” explained Burke. “ We balanced out the scoring so I was more of a role player, which was the only thing I had to get used to.”
Burke has had quite the eventful journey to the spotlight. As starting forward for the Pride, the senior is expected to perform, and indeed he does.
“It has been really enjoyable watching him excel, but more importantly improve. I look back on the first years here; he was easily frustrated if things weren’t going quite right the way he wanted them to,” explained men’s basketball coach Charlie Brock. “But now he has gotten a really good handle on what he is capable of and he’s maximizing his strengths.”
The Springfield College men’s basketball team is approaching their scheduled February games with a rather intimidating overall record of 14-5. The team is also ranked No. 9 in the nation in total assists with 325 through 19 games.
“One of the things that have been a real strength of this team is that nobody has wanted anybody to think it was solely because of them that we’re doing well,” Brock said. “The fact of the matter is everyone understands what their job is and they have gone out and done it.”
Now, it is quite clear that there is a strong sense of team unity within these players, and mighty congratulations for the accomplishments thus far. However, some individual recognition is undeniably due to Burke.
Averaging about 14 points per game, the Psychology major is no longer able to duck behind his modest mystique. Burke just recently reached 1,000 career points, and appropriate to his demure disposition, he didn’t even know.
“I wasn’t aware [that] I was approaching a thousand because I had scored points at a different school as well. Once I found out it was cool because achievements like that make working hard worth it. Winning the NEWMACs would be a much better feeling though,” Burke said.
Burke is also one of the three team captains, next to senior Sean Martin and junior Nick Sienkiewicz.
“The most important thing to me as a captain is to make the younger kids feel comfortable and to make sure everyone is ready to play,” explained Burke. “I try to get the guys riled up to play. I’m very passionate about this game.”
After 16 years as head coach, Brock certainly knows a thing or two about the necessities of a well-rounded team, and acknowledges his own players’ successions.
“[Burke] has a noticeable impact [on his team]. Leadership is not always vocal, it’s not always loud and overbearing, and actually it usually isn’t, but more importantly [its] by example,” Brock said. “He’s very competitive…constantly going full speed.”
Gabby Maulucci can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org