Miles Burnside: “This academy isn’t about vacation, it’s about your career.”

Interview with Miles Burnside, one of the our players recently signed a contract to play professionally in Spain.

Where you started to play basketball and if you may explain your basketball background?
 I started playing basketball at the age of 4. I was watching legends like Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler when they played for the Houston Rockets and were winning titles. I fell in love with the game from there. When I got older my work ethic started to pick up as I studied Pistol Pete Maravich and I tried to spend as much time with a ball as he did when he was young.

Why did you decide to join Europe Basketball Academy?
I went to a very small college that doesn't gain a lot of reputation. We played good competition however, even those schools don't get much attention like D1 schools do. So people can imagine why it was hard to get an opportunity. I also did not win any awards or average exceptionally high numbers.

How did you hear about our academy? Who recommended it to you?
Alen Rugovac recommended the academy to me and I also know a former player from a rival school in college that attended and was able to get a job from the academy. I decided to join because I had no options left and I felt like this would be my best shot at creating an opportunity.

Did you attend some camps and if you did can you explain the difference between those camps and Europe Basketball Academy?
No, I did not. I went on a sports ministry tour to Germany, but it wasn't really set up to get a job. Most of the exhibition games we played, the teams already had a maximum number of imports/Americans.

What is the difference between playing in Europe and where you played before coming to Europe?
In Europe it's a technical game first. I.Q. Is used a lot more than physical ability. Also, Defense is a must in Spain especially. Defense is about pride and it's the key to winning here.

How did the days look for you at Europe Basketball Academy? Describe the regular day you were going through? Describe what new you learned about European basketball in Europe Basketball Academy?
The days were typical of an in-season athlete. Our jobs are to be the best individual player possible. Therefore, hours spent in the gym and weight room are absolutely necessary. I just took it one day at a time and used every day to improve in some aspect. Also, the routine is nice and it's good to have one. The hardest days were the off days. I wanted to maximize rest and recovery but it made for some boring Sundays. What I learned about European basketball is that ball movement is a big key to being a productive player and teammate. In America the offense gets stagnant with 1-on-1 play. In Europe, everybody is touching the ball.

Your advice to players that are considering joining Europe Basketball Academy? What are values that we share? What kind of player should enter academy?
Learn and study one word. Professionalism. It is an aspect of the character to stay professional in tough situations. True professionals do their work every day even when they don't want to, and even when the work isn't paying off in their minds. Stay about your business and keep the fun stuff to a minimum. This academy isn't about vacation, it's about your career.

Share some interesting situations that you experienced in the academy that you will remember and that made a strong impression on you.
My first and last game with the academy. We played a Division 3 college team my first game and a Division 1 college team my last. In the first, I realized how much work I had to do and it set the tone for me being it was my 2nd day at the academy. The last game showed me how much I had grown as a player and person. I struggled in the first half and got hot and put 10 points on the board in the 4th quarter. It was living proof that at any minute, rough times can turn around quickly.

Where you ended up after you attended Europe Basketball Academy?
I signed with Club Baloncesto Culleredo in La Coruña, Spain.

Here you may write some finishing comments what you find important to share.
Every person's situation and expectations are different. It's good to make friends at the academy and it's good to have help from others, but do not get lost in process of starting YOUR career even when others are starting theirs.

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