Chowan to Dedicate Bob Burke Court January 30th
Chowan University will honor long-time men’s basketball coach Bob Burke on Saturday, January 30th as the Helms Center court will be formally named “Bob Burke Court”. The dedication will be held at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Virginia Union University with former players, coaches, and fans in attendance. Tip-off is slated for 4:05pm.
Burke spent 33 years patrolling the sidelines in the state of North Carolina and left an indelible mark on the college basketball landscape. It was the beginning of a coaching career that saw the Staten Island, New York native eventually coach at every level of the game of basketball (junior college, NAIA, NCAA Division I, II and III and the National Basketball Association). Burke’s coaching career spanned five decades and touched a number of lives. His impact in the coaching ranks has carried on as 25 former players currently coach in the high school and collegiate ranks, including Fred Vinson (New Orleans Pelicans) and Nate McMillan (Indiana Pacers).
Burke, who was inducted in the Jim Garrison Hall of Fame in 2000, left as the third winningest active coach in North Carolina history behind only Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) and Jerry Steele (High Point). Burke spent 22 years at then-Chowan College before serving as an assistant coach at the University of Hawaii and with the Portland Trailblazers as part of the NBA.
Burke compiled a record of 419-217 during his time at Chowan and led the then-Braves to three National Junior College Tournaments with three Sweet Sixteen appearances, including one Final Four appearance. The team posted twelve consecutive 20-plus win seasons and averaged 25 wins per season during that same span.
Seven of Burke’s players went on to compete at ACC institutions including: Nate McMillan (North Carolina State University), David Burgess (Virginia Tech), Andy Kelly (Clemson), Bobby Ray Smith (Boston College), BryanHill (Georgia Tech), Fred Vinson (Georgia Tech), and Johnny McNeil (Georgia Tech). Additionally, he had 35 players sign NCAA Division I offers over a 13-year period from 1981-1994.
Burke resides in Wilson, North Carolina with his wife, Jane. The two have a son Rob, and daughter Ashlyn.
The Chowan men’s basketball contest against Virginia Union University on January 30th will be aired through Urban Sports & Entertainment Group on ASPiRE TV. The syndication list will be released as it becomes available.