GHS player overcomes adversity to achieve goal

Published 11:40 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Basketball was on Jacques Burnett’s mind this year. But so were lots of other things.

The 19-year-old had a job, two children, and was working to earn his diploma through Greenville High School’s Credit Recovery Program.

Burnett’s age kept him off the court this year, but he had one goal in mind:

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“I wanted to play college basketball,” said Burnett. “I just kept practicing and came to school.”

Burnett achieved his goal on Wednesday. He was one of a trio of Tigers to sign scholarships to play basketball and will play for coach Ronald Lane at Wallace Community College Selma, joining teammate Jamie Williams. Point guard Nick McHenry also signed to play with Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa.

Burnett missed out on GHS’s postseason tourney run, but coach Jerome Harris III said Burnett was still part of the team.

“He came to practice,” he said. “He helped the rest of the team get better and played a big role in our success this season. He showed a lot of character this year.”

GHS principal Dr. Charles Farmer said Burnett’s typical day was demanding. The senior started it in school and then went to work at Sonic’s Drive-In, leaving from there to pick-up his two children.

Through it all, Burnett persevered, said Farmer, with teachers and school administrators providing support.

“We try to be a family and a team here,” said Farmer. “Our goal is to help our students succeed. In Jacques’s case, that was getting him in our Credit Recovery Program where he could be successful.”