Globe High School star, Native American BJ Burries on verge of breaking state basketball record

Burries just passed Mike Bibby on AZ's points list
Posted at 11:14 AM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-12 18:46:09-05

B.J. Burries is in the process of rewriting the Arizona high school basketball record books -- and in doing so, making sure every Arizonan knows exactly where the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation is.

On Tuesday, Burries, a senior at Globe High School, became the third high-school basketball player in Arizona history to reach 3,000 total points. In doing so, he passed one of the other two members of that club -- Mike Bibby, who starred at Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix before guiding the Arizona Wildcats to a national championship and playing 17 seasons in the NBA.

"Making the 3,000 club, passing Mike Bibby, one of the greatest of all-time in Arizona, it was pretty much a blessing," said Burries, a Native American who lives on the San Carlos reservation.

Burries, who is now at 3,032 points, said "the whole reservation" was on hand to watch him reach the 3,000-point milestone in Tuesday's win over rival San Carlos. Representing the Native American community is a major point of pride for him.

"It makes it very special," he said. "It was packed and a great atmosphere. I just love it. To put the Native Americans on the map, it’s just such a blessing."

Burries has learned a lot about the game from his parents, both of whom played basketball at the collegiate level. He said his mother helps him rise above the animosity that exists on the reservation, and his uncle Steven Pahe has also been instrumental in his success.

"There's a whole bunch of jealousy and hate down here on the reservation. I talk to my mom each and every day, and keep praying," he said. "My dad, he would come down from Cali and come watch me play, give me lessons on what I need to do and work better on. My uncle, he helped me a lot growing up here, practicing with me every day."

The Arizona all-time points record belongs to Corey Hawkins, who accrued 3,154 at Goodyear Estrella Foothills from 2006-10. Burries, who has received offers to play college basketball from schools in Kansas and Wyoming, is likely to surpass that mark soon.

But he said his focus lies elsewhere.

"I think it was after my sophomore year that they said I was on track (for the state record). But I didn’t really think about being the top scorer in Arizona; I just kept on playing, but just for fun (and to) try to go to college," he said.

"I’m really not focused on it. I’m just going to let it come to me, and just focus on winning games and winning a state championship for Globe."