The University of Vermont reached out to Mickey Burns when he was just a sophomore in high school, and since then he’s developed into one of the more promising recruits coming to Burlington this season.
“That carried a lot of weight,” says the now 20-year-old New Jersey native. “Just being the first people to say, ‘we see something in you.’ That was big for me.”
In the years between his commitment and the approaching start of his NCAA career, Burns has not made UVM regret its decision.
The center jumped off the stat sheet every step of the way, posting 77 points as a senior at Don Bosco Prep, and a record-setting 77 points with the New Jersey Hitmen of the National Collegiate Developmental Conference.
In the NCDC, he captained the Hitmen to the best record in the league, poised to make a playoff push before the season was cut short due to COVID-19.
“I think the worst part about it was the way we ended the previous year, getting eliminated in the first round,” Burns said. “We were looking to come back with a vengeance. We really thought it was our year.”
The team still earned NCDC organization of the year honors, and Burns was named MVP and best forward.
A lot can change in four years, for both Burns and UVM, especially with a new chapter beginning at head coach and Todd Woodcroft being brought in this offseason.
“Four years ago I can’t say I would’ve seen myself in this situation,” Burns said. “Honestly, I’m grateful because I feel like the future of this program is skyrocketing.”