Former state champ takes over boys’ b-ball team
December 15, 2016
Filed under Sports
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Some call him coach Burse; others call him Doctor Dunk.
“I loved to dunk on folks in high school,” said Doug Burse, who is beginning his first year as the boys’ varsity basketball coach. “I was called Doctor Dunk by my peers and teammates. Most of my dunks came off of missed free throws.”
Doctor Dunk’s road to becoming the Sailor coach began in high school at Muskegon Heights, where he helped the Tigers to back-to-back state titles in both his junior and senior years.
Burse, who was given the job on an interim basis, now has a chance to further his basketball career as coach, replacing Gene Gifford who left Shores to assist a friend and former player at Aquinas College.
“Coach Burse has served our boys’ basketball program loyally for many, many years now,” athletic director Ryan Portenga said. “When Coach Gifford resigned nine weeks ago, rather than go through a speedy search, we opted to dub Coach Burse as an ‘interim’ coach, and we will conduct a thorough search following the season.”
Although this is Burse’s first time as a varsity head coach, he coached for nine years at Heights as the freshmen coach, and he also was the assistant varsity coach at Shores for four years.
“I’m thrilled to be the coach,” Burse said. “I have been a coach all my life; it has a meaning to it. I am confident about this year’s team. We are going to be very young, small and quick. I am going to bring back old school basketball, which will be us in your face all of the time.”
While the team is young, Burse said that could work as an advantage.
“I have a senior KP (Ke’Vont’A Pegues) who will be leading the team for us this season. I also have DB (Nick DeBruin) middle, who is also a senior. Along with KP and Debruin, freshman Jay Walker will be interesting to watch and grow. We also have sophomores James Gilbert and Damari Roberson, along with leadership in senior Emari Hardy,” Burse said.
Since Burse has been a coach for so many years, he said he already knows exactly what needs to be done in order to have a successful winning team.
“Most importantly, I want to build a program from sixth grade to varsity level,” he said. “I want to get the students in grade school involved with high school ball because they are the future Sailors of Mona Shores basketball.”