The future is bright for Paraclete incoming freshman Mister Burnside.
The 15-year-old basketball player was named Athlete of the Year at Anaverde Hills School and graduated from the middle school on the principal’s list with a 4.0 grade-point average his first semester and a 3.8 his second semester.
Burnside was also recently named No. 24 on the Amateur Athletic Union 2024 National Player Rankings.
“For now, it’s OK, but after I finish going to these camps, after this year, I’ll be ranked higher,” Burnside said confidently. “Overall, I don’t really look at rankings. It’s like a visual of what I can be. If I’m No. 1, I only have to work harder. If I’m No. 24, that means I have to climb the rankings. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Burnside has been working hard this summer working out by running, exercising and doing basketball drills. He does Zoom meetings with his travel team, West Coast Elite, where he plays on the 15-and-under team, and does individual social distance training with a few trainers he has.
“I’ve been doing two-a-days ever single day,” the 6-foot-2, 170-pound guard said. “I work out in the morning and then later in the day I have another workout. It’s pretty interesting.”
When he’s not working on his basketball skills he’s working on his summer reading. He’s currently taking on To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. He will start summer school at Paraclete on July 6.
The Spirits were cleared to start individual workouts on Friday. They will have just six players — working on six different basketball hoops — in the gym.
“They can only touch one basketball,” Paraclete coach Newton Chelette said. “They can’t touch any other basketballs. It’s gonna be different.”
Burnside said he has a good relationship with Chelette and is excited to play on the varsity squad as a freshman.
“We’re looking forward to him doing a lot of good things at Paraclete,” Chelette said. “We have a good freshman class coming in alongside him, so we shall see.”
Burnside could also be a good fit with Paraclete senior Amado Coleman, who lost his playing partner Nolan Boffman to graduation.
“He plays very hard,” said Doug Burnside, Mister’s father. “A lot of times I see those kids out there trying to get out of the way, because he plays so aggressive.”
Mister began playing football when he was 6 or 7 years old and started basketball at age 8. He was inspired by his older brothers, Namon Wright and Devin Burleson, who both played basketball.
“After playing football, I kind of got tired and I was getting better at basketball, so I was like, ‘Why not just put my whole focus into basketball and see what I can do from there?’” Mister said. “So, that’s when I started taking it seriously (at age 11).”
Wright went on to play basketball at the University of Colorado, while Burleson played football at the University of Washington.
Mister said his current favorite basketball player is Montverde Academy (Florida) starting point guard Cade Cunningham.
“I just feel like I want to model my game after his, because at the end of the day I hope that I’m 6-7,” Mister said. “That’s the goal. I want to be a (point guard). I’ve been watching him for so long, like if you gave me a quiz, I’ll get every single one of them right. I know everything about him.”
In order to continue to improve, Mister said he just trains every day.
“I scrimmage against older people, I lead off of what they do and I try to equip it to my game,” he said. “That’s how I try to get better.”
Mister is also on a solid path outside of basketball. He enjoys school, saying history is his favorite subject, and wants to become a criminal defense attorney. He has already shadowed a family member who is in the legal field.
“He’s excited,” Doug said. “He’s got his head on straight right now. I hope he stays that way.”