Going, Going, GONE: Burroughs Basketball Transfers Move Back to Kansas City

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Rashid Ewing (left) and Amaad Wainright will provide fans with an entertaining style of basketball (Photo by Dick Dornan)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

They came. They saw. They left.

Adios Amaad Wainright and Rashid Ewing. It was good knowing you for the short time you were here.

In an era where high school basketball has become tainted with transfers galore throughout the Southland, this recent development is downright bothersome.

Simply put, the Burroughs boys basketball program got dunked on by two of its players, err….former players, who chose individualism over team.

As exciting it was to hear about the two new transfers from Kansas City, Missouri, who made the trek West last August, it’s even more frustrating and disappointing that they left their teammates and coach high and dry when things got tough.

As Burroughs coach Adam Hochberg simply put it, “they quit on us.”

Rashid Ewing (left) and Amaad Wainright: former Burroughs players (Photo by Dick Dornan)
Rashid Ewing (left) and Amaad Wainright: former Burroughs players (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Last week the Indians’ two-leading scorers packed their bags, caught a flight and bid farewell to the Burroughs community and moved back home. What? Why?

At the Burroughs-Burbank game on Feb. 13, several people were predicting that the two young boys would leave and go back home as soon as the season ended. These people had a gut feeling.

Bingo! They did alright….but they left BEFORE the playoffs. Are you kidding me? How despicable!

After the first round of league play, the Indians were in first place with a record of 5-1. The talented two boys from Missouri captivated the Burroughs faithful with their electric style of play. They revitalized a program and brought out the masses to games.

Yes, they were fun to watch. Both games between the cross-town rivals were sold-out. Administrators said they were the largest crowds in years….because people wanted to catch a glimpse of Burroughs one-two star punch. Yet, it was Hochberg, his staff and players who received a punch to the stomach courtesy of #5 and #45.

Wainright and Ewing lifted the Burroughs team on their shoulders as they dominated Burbank, 68-48, on January 24.

Fast forward to February 13 in the rematch. Burbank hammered Burroughs, 57-32. But something felt different that night. It was the Indians’ fifth loss in six games but there was an uneasy feeling in the gym throughout the contest. Watching the game was like walking on hot coals. I’ve never seen so much individualism on their part. This wasn’t the same Indians team a few weeks back.

Then the shocking but not so shocking news was delivered to Hochberg on Monday, Feb. 17. Wainright and Ewing were leaving on a flight back home the very next day.

Team players? Maybe before but not now. They selfishly left their teammates behind and fooled us all. Finish what you start, right? Start the season, finish the season. Start the school year, finish the school year. But NEVER be a quitter.

Burroughs, who won 16 games this season, traveled to Valencia of Placentia last Friday for its first-round playoff game minus Wainright and Ewing and lost, 61-38, to end their year.

Wainright led the team in scoring (24.9 ppg), rebounding (12.5 rpg), assists (4.8 apg), steals (3.7 spg) and blocks (1.9 bpg). Ewing was right behind in scoring (15.6) and in rebounds (6.8).

But when the team needed them most, they were enjoying life back in Kansas City, Missouri.

So why did Wainright and Ewing come here in the first place?  What was the reasoning? Rumors were rampant why and how they suddenly arrived on campus. Transferring from one school to another within SoCal might be understandable.

But leaving your classmates of three years and spending your senior year with a whole new group of people reeks with suspicion and curiosity. Especially when you move from Missouri to California.

I applaud Hawkins Mann who moved from Idaho to California to play football for the Indians in his senior year. He made the most of his opportunity and will be receiving his degree from JBHS. Mann didn’t bail out and go back home after the season. He’s an Indian and has been since day one.

The benefit of the doubt was given to Wainright and Ewing as they came across as two nice teenagers looking to improve their college future. I bought in and so did others.

Three months ago I wrote a story on their move to Burbank, California. They were declared eligible right away and avoided the mandated 30-day sit-out CIF rule. Their mothers are sisters who gave their blessings to leave home and live with their uncle for the 2013-14 school year. Or we thought!

During the interview, the two young men shared that they moved to pursue better opportunities athletically and academically. Point taken. But if that was true, why aren’t they here anymore?

What happened? Why did they not finish their senior year with the rest of their classmates?

I’ve been told several different reasons (academically and athletically) but to speculate any further is a waste of time. For the record, it had nothing to do with a family emergency. They are gone now. We wish them well in their endeavors back home.

Thanks but no thanks young lads.

In the end, it left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths and a bitter aftertaste for Hochberg. The Burroughs basketball program didn’t deserve this. Neither did the Burroughs community.

The books are officially closed on the 2014 season but high school athletics suffered another black eye when the selfish exploits of two players overshadowed a fine season by the Indians.