By Tom Robinson
With a demanding academic program ahead in college and achy knees, JB Hoops alum Kieran Burrier entered the 2020 state tournament as captain of the Holy Cross Crusaders knowing the end of his basketball career was on the horizon.
The sport still managed to get Burrier off his feet one last time.
“It’s awesome,” Burrier said of learning he had been selected third-team all-state in Class 2A for his role in leading the Crusaders to repeats of their Lackawanna League Division 2 and District 2 Class 2A championships. “I never thought this was going to happen.
“I was jumping up and down when I heard.”
Pennsylvania Sports Writers released their Class 2A all-state boys basketball team Tuesday morning.
Burrier is a two-time Lackawanna Division 2 Player of the Year choice by NEPABasketball.com. He averaged nearly 16 points per game while contributing to the championship effort of the 24-3 team as a rebounder, defender and playmaker.
Late in the season, Burrier learned that he had been accepted into the pharmacy program at Wilkes University. Through family friends, Burrier knew enough people who have studied in the program to make the determination that it would not be practical to try to continue playing basketball in college.
Instead, the 1,000-point career scorer’s last game was an 18-point effort in a 56-43 second-round, state tournament loss to Dock Mennonite and his last basketball-related news is the realization of a lofty goal.
“I always dreamed of getting that,” Burrier said of making the all-state team.
The 6-footer came up through basketball playing more on the inside because he was taller than opponents in his Rec League days. Years of youth football also contributed to a willingness to compete physically.
“It was just in my nature, being aggressive and giving it my all,” Burrier said.
When others caught up and passed him in height, Burrier spent increasing time in the backcourt as he progressed through his high school career, but he never lost the willingness to mix things up in the paint, whether defending and rebounding or going hard to the basket and drawing contact.
Burrier played in the JB Hoops AAU program. He advanced to the highest-level team in the program for his final season, playing on the JB Hoops Callahan National team in 2019.
Western Wayne’s Zach Rovinsky, who had played in the JB Hoops AAU program in earlier years, was a second-team choice in Class 4A.