Easy decision for Burton to re-sign

Shooting star Alonzo Burton will be back in orange in 2022.

Burton is the latest player to re-commit to the Southland Sharks before the 2022 National Basketball League season.

He was forced to sit out the Sharks’ semifinal loss to Hawke’s Bay in July as a broken finger put paid to his campaign a game early.

Instead of confining that experience to the history books, the man affectionately known as "Zo" has used what he called a "humbling experience" as motivation for this season.

"I'm 100% now and ready to go," Burton said.

"All I've been doing is training so I'm really looking forward to getting back on court, getting down south and getting started.

"I remember going to the finals week and I made sure to take lots of photos and videos just to remind me of the vibe and the atmosphere.

"I've watched the semifinal game back almost every other day which fuels the fire and keeps me motivated. You’ve got to search for the extra edge and what gets you motivated so I love rewatching stuff like that — it just fuels me."

Burton, who averaged over 13 points per game last year, will join Dom Kelman-Poto and Brayden Inger, who are also staying with the Sharks, together with Liam McRae.

That team continuity made Burton’s decision a straight-forward one.

"I really loved it last year. I think just the team chemistry on and off the court, the organisation and everyone involved made me feel like I was really at home. I didn't feel like it was my first year there.

"The family vibe and the culture there made it an easy decision to come back.

"I've said for quite a few years that Southland is the hardest place to play just because it feels like the whole city is in that stadium and when you're in the opposing team, it sucks.

"Playing for Southland, and having the crowd backing behind you, is something you can't really explain. You make a shot, or someone makes a good play, and it just erupts, and as a player you really feed off it. You love to be in an environment like that."

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