Burton Sheds Pounds; Picks Up Play

Joe Burton appears to be making strides as a prospect. The talented big man has shed pounds and is averaging a double-double this season.

Coming off an injury that kept him out for four months last spring, Joe Burton has rebounded. The talented big man lost 50 pounds and is having a terrific high school season.

"In August we put him with a trainer and he went and saw him for a month and he dropped 30," Compton Magic coach Etop Udo-Ema said. "He's been dropping weight since then and he's looking great."

With the extra weight off, Burton, who still stands 6-foot-8, 280-pounds, is putting up big numbers this year. He currently averages 21.5 points, 16.3 rebounds and 5 assists per game.

"He's very agile and pretty athletic for a guy that big," Udo-Ema said. "He's a high major guy and he has an unbelievable feel for the game. He's also one of the best big guy passers in high school basketball."

"For as big as he is he's super mobile," he continued. "He's not slow, he can run and he jump and he can move, but I think guys are waiting to see how he rebounds off of that injury."

According to Ude-Ema only San Diego State has offered the Hamet (Calif.) West Valley standout. Burton is also getting strong interest from a number of schools, including Oklahoma, Villanova and UCLA.

"Last year he got hurt in the spring and he was out for four months. He didn't come back until the summer. He picked up a ton of weight and ended up being 320, but then he lost 50 pounds."

"I think coaches are waiting to see how he rebounded off the injury," Udo-Ema added. "When they see him now, he's going to sky rocket in the spring time. He's going to be a hot guy this spring."

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