John Burns will meet Basha boys hoops players Monday
Basha boys basketball coach John Burns will meet his team for the first time on Monday, he said.
It will be a more important introduction than usual, as star juniors Torren Jones and Jaron Hopkins still debate their transfer options.
On Tuesday, Hopkins said a decision had not been made and that the plan is still to wait until the end of the club basketball season to choose between staying and leaving. Cheryl Jones, Torren’s mom, said in a text message on Wednesday that ‘we will gather as much info as possible now that the new coach has been named and proceed accordingly.’
Burns is aware of the situation but does not seem to be worrying about it too much.
“We’re going to coach the players that want to be there and want to win a championship,” Burns said.
Burns said he was attracted to the opening because of his prior relationship with principal Ken James, who was the principal at Highland when Burns coached the Hawks’ boys basketball team from 2001-2004. Burns said he likes the way James runs the school and supports his coaches.
He also said he will adapt his style of play to the team’s personnel.
“Every year what we do changes,” Burns said. “The great thing about coaching in high school is that you play the hand that’s dealt to you.”
Hopkins said on Tuesday that he is open to any type of offensive philosophy.
Basha is expected to be a state title contender if Jones and Hopkins return next season. Former Arizona State commitment Maurice Kirby has already said he will not be leaving Basha. The Bears did not have a senior on the roster last season, when they were ranked as high as No. 2 in Division I.
“For those that want to be a part of it, great,” Burns said. “Then we’ll go from there.”