RICHMOND, Va. – In a day and age where pro athletes wear ridiculous post game outfits, get into spats with fans through social media and engage in a slew of other attention-seeking stunts, Bradford Burgess is a breath of fresh air.
The Midlothian, Va. native and VCU great is the opposite of those attention-hungry athletes. He doesn't have an instagram account, has no Twitter handle and no Facebook page. It's not that he doesn't want to be bothered by fans, he'll stop for a picture and sign an autograph for anyone who wants one on the streets of Richmond, Burgess is just not an attention-seeker.
That trait was put to the test over the past couple months when the VCU great needed to catch the eye of NBA executives as he went through workouts for NBA teams, seven in total. He turned to some of his former Ram teammates for some advice with the process.
"I talked to the guys that had been through it before like Eric, Larry and Skeen. They just told me to be confident in the skills that got me the opportunity to workout at the NBA level. That's what I did, just tried to stay confident and play as hard as I could," Burgess said.
Over the course of the past two months, Burgess worked out for New York, Portland, Golden State, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Memphis and Phoenix. Each place they put them through drills, three-on-three games and a variety of skill tests.
"The biggest thing I was focused on was playing hard and playing my game," Burgess said. "I wanted to be able to show that I was comfortable playing any position they wanted and that I could shoot it from outside."
These are exactly the skills that made him a NCAA record holder for consecutive games started (146) and a vital part of the VCU Basketball program that won a school-record 108 games during his four years.
"I've never been a flashy type player, I've always just wanted to do whatever it took to help my team win. No matter what it was, if I needed to rebound, I'd focus on that, if I needed to score from outside, I'd do that. Whatever it took to get the win, that's what I wanted to do," Burgess said.
No flash, just trying to help his team win. It's another breath of fresh air from Mr. Burgess, who won't host a big party Thursday during the NBA Draft. He'll be sitting at home hoping that he was able to catch just enough attention of a team that will give him a shot at his dream.