“Our program hopefully stands for two things,” Boyd County boys basketball coach Randy Anderson said Monday. “Memories and relationships.”
After contributing to one of the greatest memories in recent program history as a senior — the first 64th District Tournament title since 1999 — Tristan Burgess said Monday before signing his letter of intent to play at Transylvania University that relationships mattered to the Lions, too.
“I love these guys. I wish I could take them with me,” Burgess said. “I wish I could stay down here for another year.”
That won’t happen, but the sharpshooter made plenty of memories during a senior season to remember at Boyd County.
Burgess, listed at 6-foot-4 and 170 pounds, tied for the 10th-most 3-pointers made per game in the state. He drained 2.8 treys a night and hit 45.6 percent of his 3s.
He scored 13.8 points per game as the Lions went 19-14 and toppled Ashland, 69-65, in the district tournament final.
Boyd County fell to Lewis County, 71-66, in the 16th Region Tournament quarterfinals, but that didn’t take too much away from the Lions’ sense of accomplishment.
“It’s really exciting,” Burgess said. “Yeah, we would have liked to have gone farther in the region, but I’m excited with what we did and proud of it.”
Burgess was selected All-Area in a coaches’ vote after the season.
Players and coaches noted Boyd County’s remarkable chemistry all year. Anderson said Burgess was instrumental in fostering it, and fellow seniors Kaleb Mullins and Clayton Meade spoke along those lines at Burgess’s signing ceremony.
“He was one of the guys that always organized (events),” Anderson said. “He loves to play wiffle ball. He loves to do the (team-building) things we did at Gatti’s. We have the kids over at our house an awful lot, and he was just a very good senior leader.”
Once he gets to Lexington, Burgess said he isn’t sure what role he’ll fill.
“I’m not one to talk big about myself or anything like that,” he said. “I’ll take the best role I can get and become the best player I can be.”
His high school coach believes Burgess can do great things for the Pioneers.
“Tristan is what you call a late bloomer,” Anderson said. “By the time we see Tristan finish up at Transy, he’s probably gonna end up 6-6, 6-7, something like that, and as his body naturally gets stronger and as he works at it, I think he’s gonna be a very, very good player in that conference.”
Transylvania went 9-17 this past winter, but was 43-13 in the two seasons before that and earned at-large bids to the NCAA Division III Tournament those years.
“They had a young team last year, so everybody will be returning, so hopefully it’ll be a strong season next year and in years to come,” Burgess said.
That, plus Transylvania’s solid academic reputation, sold Burgess.
“The style of play of basketball just really fit, and I like Lexington and the big city,” he said. “It’s just exciting for me to go there. I feel like I made the right choice.”
Burgess comes from a basketball-rich family. His father, Jody, coached Ceredo-Kenova and Buffalo Wayne to three West Virginia state semifinals and serves on Anderson’s staff as an assistant. Tristan’s half-brother, Joda, played collegiately at Marshall.
Burgess said he plans to study pre-medicine or engineering.
ZACK KLEMME can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2658.