Parents of NC State breakout star DJ Burns reflect on his journey to Final Four

ROCK HILL, S.C. — North Carolina State’s forward DJ Burns has stolen much of the spotlight during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. This weekend, the South Carolina native will lead the Wolfpack in their first appearance in the Final Four in more than four decades.

Channel 9′s DaShawn Brown recently sat down with his parents about the magical run, which started years before in Rock Hill.

“When DJ was trying to find himself with basketball, God placed Coach Hamrick as that ram in the bush as a coach,” said Dwight Burns Sr.

Former head coach Frank Hamrick coached DJ Burns in high school at York Preparatory Academy.

His parents also praised his playing career at nearby Winthrop University with helping to write his story. There Burns Jr. was named Big South Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year, among other honors.

He joined the N.C. State Wolfpack in the 2022 season.

“The first time I heard that fan base yelling and cheering ‘DJ Burns,’ I looked at her, she’s over here (crying) and I’m like stop it,” laughed Dwight Burns Sr. “The hair stood up on my skin because it was simply amazing.”

Now, the Burns family is headed to Phoenix where N.C. State will face No. 1 ranked Purdue in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Many still ask how a team that wasn’t supposed to make it to the tournament has come so far.

“I saw it in their eyes that there was no turning back, and each young man played up to the abilities that they were recruited,” said Takela Burns.

“This particular year it took a little longer, but it wasn’t because of coaching … the plan was laid out and they executed. It’s as simple as that,” said Dwight Burns Sr.

VIDEO: Rock Hill native leading NC State men’s basketball Final Four run

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