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Burney's payback

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While sitting down to write today’s dead-tree edition feature on Jerome Burney and the pending decision about his career, there was a lot of stuff I realized wouldn’t make it into the story.

And that is a shame, because (a) There were some good stories to tell and (b) You can’t cram everything from a nearly 90-minute conversation into a single feature.

One section that landed on the cutting room floor covered the highs of his return from injury when he got the call to play against Clemson on Feb. 17.

“Coach [Gary] Williams came up to me and said ‘Since you played so well against them last time, I thought I would give you a shot,’” Burney said. “[I said] ‘Really?’ I was so happy. I was acting like I was in freshman year, that’s how excited I was.”

He laughed at the thought of getting tired so quickly, but there was a bright spot in the blowout loss. Burney remembered how a season earlier, Tigers star Trevor Booker dunked on him, and wanted to get him back.

It didn’t happen until the closing minutes.

“I think we were trying to run the two play or motion, and I ended up on the free throw line,” Burney said. “Greivis [Vasquez] passed me the ball. I noticed it was going right so I ran straight for it, jumped up, dunked it and soon as I grabbed the ball I noticed someone was under me. I dunked it, swung on the rim and kind of looked back and it was Trevor Booker and I thought ‘Yes!’…

“[Clemson forward Raymond] Sykes after the game was like ‘That’s gonna be a top-10 play right there.’”

More snippets from the Burney conversation to come later in the day.

Patrick Stevens

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