'He's been on a journey': DJ Burns' parents reveling in son's national spotlight :: WRALSportsFan.com

‘He’s been on a journey’: DJ Burns’ parents reveling in son’s national spotlight :: WRALSportsFan.com

In just one month, NC State center DJ Burns Jr. has gone from Wolfpack favorite to America’s favorite college basketball player.

His parents, Dwight Burns Sr. and Takela Burns said they had been excited to watch his growth and see the country fall in love with their son.

Takela Burns said there is something about her son that brings people together.

“He has a particular confidence, and it’s not arrogance, that he’s been on a journey,” she said.

He displayed his confidence and compassion after he stayed behind in the American Airlines Center to make sure the security staff could get a photo with him after NC State’s win over the Duke Blue Devils to put the Wolfpack in its first Final Four since 1983.

Wolfpack make history, send both men's and women's teams to Final Four

“DJ was raised to pay attention to anybody who wants your attention,” Dwight Burns Sr. said. “He took his time. Those ladies took their time and he got a group picture with them.

His parents said his love for basketball started when he was young.

“[It] began at the dinner table,” Dwight Burns Sr. said. “I can remember sitting around the dinner table, four of us are talking [and] DJ’s dunking on somebody’s head or my head.”

His parents took him to recreation league basketball and his mother was his first coach, but it didn’t last long.

“DJ’s always been the taller of the big kids. We pulled him out of rec league at age 10,” Dwight Burns said. “[He] started on an AAU team and it took off from there.”

DJ Burns as a child

His parents said he also as a deep love for music, which also started when he was a kid playing the baritone saxophone.

“When he was younger, he talked about the instruments he played in his childhood and middle school,” Takela Burns explained. “He just plays to a beat.”

Burns Jr. played to the beat of the ball Sunday night against Duke game with 29 points on 13-19 shooting from the field.

“DJ loves music. [He] loves to be silly [and he] loves to dance, and I think he plays basketball with a certain likeness,” Dwight Burns senior said.

While the moment has arrived for Burns, his parents say some moments were difficult during the season.

The Wolfpack lost seven of their final nine games of the season, and his parents said Burns became the focus of jokes online.

His mother said he doesn’t focus on the negativity.

“It fuels him when people are ugly, and they’re going to be,” she said. “I think he’s done a great job of blocking all that out to get to his goal…because he has such a good village with NC State and his family.”

The newfound fame has earned DJ Burns several Name-Image-Likeness deals, including from Mt. Olive Pickles, Adidas and CVS.

“It sets him up for his future,” Takela Burns said. “That’s what I’m excited for. His image can be used to generate some generational wealth for him and his future family.”

His parents said his NIL deals help them, but they’re more focused on how their son has set himself up for the future once he finishes his basketball career.

“Dwight and I do okay, so we’re taken care of, but we love to see our son progressing in a way,” Takela Burns said. “Kind of like being a business owner with his vending machines and things. He’s setting himself up as a young man to have business ventures coming out of college.”

While they credit their son’s performance for the Wolfpack’s nine-game winning streak and trip to the Final Four in Phoenix, they say they love everyone on the team the same.

“It’s a very humbling experience for us as parents,” Dwight Burns Sr. said.

Burns Jr. and the Wolfpack will look to continue their Cinderella run on Saturday when they take on the Purdue Boilermakers.

Source: wralsportsfan.com