Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Trey Burke's journey from the G League to the New York Knicks led by his faith in God

New York Knicks point guard Trey Burke has lit up the scoreboard recently.

The fourth year guard has averaged 23.3 points and 6.3 assists over his last three games, including a 28 point and eight assist game against the Boston Celtics on February 24.

Burke’s career has seen some ups and downs. Selected 9th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, his draft rights were traded on draft night to the Utah Jazz. As a rookie he started 68 games, and his 12.8 point per game average helped him finish third in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting. But midway through the following season in 2016, he dropped out of the starting lineup and was then traded to the Washington Wizards.

As a free agent last summer, Burke was close to signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he decided to take the unusual move to sign with the Knicks’ G League in Westchester, a move he says was inspired through his faith in God.

“I didn’t choose to come here. I really in my heart feel like I heard him [God] telling me to come here,” Burke said to ESPN. “Because I was a free agent and it didn’t make sense in the natural eye because you have these opportunities [to play in the NBA] right now. Why wouldn’t you go to OKC? But it makes sense because I know what type of platform comes with being a New York Knick. … This is the biggest market in the world.”

With a NBA contract to the Thunder on the table, Burke said he and his agent “bumped heads” over the decision to sign in the G League. But after looking to restart his career, Burke knew that being in the Knicks organization was the right place for him to be able to make an impact in the New York community.

“I said, ‘I want to go to New York. And I wanted to do that for the Lord, ” Burke recalled. “… I wanted to come to New York because I feel like this is a city where I can help a lot of people.”

In 26 games with the Westchester Knicks, Burke averaged 26.6 points, 5.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals. He was called up to the New York Knicks on Jan. 14. Now under the bright lights of the Big Apple, he’s staying focused on his goal of not only solidifying himself in the NBA roster, but also looking to be more vocal about his faith on and off the court.

“I know there’s a lot of athletes that want to talk about it but don’t talk about it because they’re hesitant about it. They worry about how it comes off. They worry about what other people think about them,” Burke said. “To me, I’m not worried anymore. I don’t want to deny him anymore. I’m at a point now where I want people to know who the real Trey Burke is.”

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