For Burton things have come easy on the basketball floor up till now. He has always possessed the strength and athleticism to dominate opponents with physical gifts. However it also proved to be a problem as his skill game wasn't quite at the big time level, but at Brewster that is beginning to change.
"We're trying to teach him just basic basketball," said Brewster assistant coach Josh Lee. "He is so athletic that he never had to have an array of moves or shoot jump shots. He just basically put the ball on the deck and got to the rim. In Wisconsin he was able to do that, but here with bigger, stronger, more athletic kids, he found it more difficult to dominate those kids with just his athleticism."
Lee works with Burton quite a bit, and says there have been some growing pains during this process, but that he is making good progress.
"His jump shot has been coming along pretty well," said Lee. "He has put a ton of effort into it, especially in the second half of the season. He knows he has to utilize his jumper to create his dribble drive. At first his jumper was non-existent. The ball rotated sideways if it rotated at all and his off hand was in his way basically blocking his own shot over the first couple of weeks. Now he has really improved, and he is becoming a solid shooter."
Recruiting wise Burton continues to take things slow. He is just now paying any attention to the process. At the moment five schools seem to be showing the most attention.
For the Milwaukee native he already has the high-major interest, now it is turning that interest into offers and having his choice of schools.
"He's going to have a lot of coaches coming through the door to look at him," said Lee. "Deonte, like most players, wants to have the choice of picking a school he wants to go to instead of just picking from a school he has to go to."
He continued, "I think he is definitely a high-major athlete right now. I think this summer will really determine how good he can be. As he puts in the work during April and May while he is still on campus, he can go from just a high-major athlete to high-major basketball player. He definitely has the athletic ability and as long as he works hard his ceiling is very high."
For now Burton's focus is on getting better and becoming a complete basketball player, and so far the progress has gone well at Brewster Academy.