Want some gravy with that?:The Rafters' Interview with Dewey "Biscuits" Burke
Rafters blogger Sam Wineka recently caught up with former Heels guard Dewey Burke, a.k.a. “Biscuits.” For those of you that might not know (and who are you?) Bojangles offers patrons of Carolina games two sausage biscuits for $1.00 in instances when UNC scores 100 points in the Dean Smith Center. Mr. Burke had a knack for pushing the Heels over the century mark and chatted with The Rafters about it.
Rafters: Tell us a little about what you’re up to. Are you in Philly? How are DBCamps and Sky High Basketball coming along?
DB: I am currently living just outside of Philly, where I grew up. I am building two different business that I have started. One is a basketball training company. Think personal trainer – but 100 percent basketball-specific. I do everything on the court. In the summer time I run camps for ages 7-18, and then in the Fall and Spring, I do individual and small group private instruction. Working on fundamentals, skills on both sides of the ball, shooting form, etc. Basically I evaluate the needs of the young players, and create a plan for improvement. So far things are going well and the business is growing nicely.
The summer camps have really been fun to do because I’ve been able to have my teammates come up and speak for the kids. North Carolina Basketball carries such prestige around the country, so when you can bring in a Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Marcus Ginyard or Bobby Frasor – the kids really enjoy it and are mesmerized by what these guys can do. (http://www.DBcamps.com & http://www.skyhighbasketball.com)
My second company is a small education firm. We specialize in after-school tutoring for students from low-income families. Our services are completely free to our students and their families – all of our funding comes from the state government. Through and educational grant my company has been approved to provide this supplemental education to students in desperate need of extra academic help. It is named the EYE Program, and EYE stands for Empowering Youth through Education. You can find out more here: http://www.EYEpartners.org.
Rafters: I was in the Dean Dome the first time you pushed Carolina over 100 and secured your nickname, “Biscuits,” by hitting a trey near the end of regulation. I have to say that in my four years at Carolina, it was definitely in the Top 5 loudest moments I heard the Smith Center. What was that moment like?
DB: There were a lot of special memories in the Smith Center, and that was a great one. Playing for Carolina is such a special gift, and the fans are the biggest part of that. The love we receive day in and day out is truly a blessing. It’s very, very unique to be a part of something that literally millions of people are so passionate about. I’ve always had a tremendous relationship with the Carolina fans, and I have so much love for the people of Chapel Hill. Even now, two years out, every time I drive up Franklin Street I get goose bumps. Chapel Hill will always be home for me. I have a lot of special feelings in my heart for that place. I think, too, that some fans see some of themselves in me. I’m not 6’8’’ and I wasn’t recruited out of high school to any big time schools. I just decided that playing for Carolina was what I was meant to do – nothing and no one was going to stand in the way of that.
Rafters: While we’re talking about great moments, what was your favorite as a Carolina player?
DB: My favorite moment was beating Duke in Cameron Indoor the first time (in 2006). The class of 2009 went on to do it 4 times in a row, but the first time was an incredible experience. JJ Redick and Sheldon’s last home game, senior night for them, they were # 1 – we had freshmen, etc etc. We just played so tough that night, and David Noel was the greatest leader you could ask for. The day before at practice, there was a sense and a feeling in the air that we were going to go over there and win. Coach talked about how there were very, very few people outside out locker room that believed we could win that game…but that was ok because we knew. And we were not just saying that. We came in so confident that night, we weren’t intimidate or worried at all. We knew they couldn’t handle us that night. It was an amazing experience.
Rafters: In the infamous Duke game when Gerald Henderson broke Tyler Hansbrough’s nose, you were one of the guys holding Tyler back. I have to ask, did you kind of (maybe deep down) just want to let him go?
DB: No. And that’s the truth. My immediate thought when he got up was “he’s going to kill someone.” All I was thinking was keeping him away from anyone else, because I didn’t want him to get suspended. It was the last game of the regular season. All we had worked for all year was about to be upon us (NCAA Tourney), and there was no way we were going into it without our best player. Truly, all I was thinking was keeping him calm. If you watch the clips, you can see me telling him “try to breathe, stay cool.” He was very upset. He took more beatings than anyone in college basketball since Shaq, and he never reacted. He would always say, I won’t care about it unless someone makes my face bleed – then it’s too far. Well, Gerald and Duke took it too far – but we took the high road. We won that game, the ACC a few times, and a National Title. That’s what matters.
Rafters: Follow up: are you in fact, the only person capable of stopping Psycho T?
DB: Well we both know that no one can stop him on the court… Off it, he’s a really a gentle giant. He’s quiet and reserved, and until you get to know him and get into his inner circle – he won’t say a whole lot. The real Tyler Hansbrough is a regular friend like anyone else. He laughs, jokes and enjoys life. He’s no different. He’s an intensely loyal friend and great example of what a Tar Heel player is supposed to be about. On the court he’s the most focused and driven person I’ve ever seen. Off the court, he’s just a regular guy and a great friend.
Rafters: What do you think about this year’s team? I think all Carolina fans expect their team to go really far. Are your expectations higher or lower than a Final Four?
DB: This year’s team is going to very fun to watch grow. We have so much talent. We have everything you could want: speed, size, length, athleticism. Maybe all we are missing is a knock-down shooter, but Will Graves can fill that role if he wants to. We will be in every game because we are further along defensively than most teams are at this time. Marcus is the main reason for that. He’s so good on defense, people just don’t even begin to understand. Defense is so much more than not letting your man score. It’s about communication, and positioning, and timing and toughness and grit. Marcus is the best we’ve had in a long time.
My feeling is, people better beat us now. Come March, when Coach Williams has 90-100 practices with this team, look out. They’ll get the offensive end figured out and continue to get better defensively. We will learn to run better and better and get easier baskets. We are so young that all we can do is improve. We can be a force by March, and barring injuries – we will be.
You can listen to more of Dewey’s take on UNC basketball on his podcast, Biscuit Briefs.