When Edward Burgos first moved to Harrison from the Dominican Republic, he initially didn’t try out for the high school basketball team, instead electing for the pickup and street games he was more accustomed to playing in his home country.
So when Harrison boys basketball coach Jose Camano first met Burgos a year later, he was in shock at the previously unknown player walking the halls.
“I didn’t even know he was in the school his freshman year,” said Camano. “His sophomore year, he came out and I asked him a question in English and he looked at me because he didn’t know english. So I asked him in Spanish when he came here and he said ‘oh, I’ve been here already for a year-and-a-half. I didn’t want to try out because I just wanted to play street.’
“Eddie excelled really quickly from the moment he walked into our gym. From the moment we saw him play, we knew we had a great guard coming in.”
Now a senior and with three years of varsity experience, Burgos is now blowing everyone away with his play.
As the calendar turned to 2023, the 5-foot-11 Burgos elevated his game to heights not seen at Harrison in recent years. First, it was 26 points in a loss to Rutherford. Then it was 29 points for the Blue Tide when they went on the road to beat North Arlington, followed by 26 in a victory over Harrison. Two games later, Burgos went off for 28 points in a hard-fought loss at Park Ridge.
Burgos’ hot shooting, which not coincidentally comes with a recent turnaround in the Blue Tide’s fortunes as a team, make him The Observer Athlete of the Week.
Burgos is averaging 23.1 points per game over his last seven games and for the season is at 19.8 per game.
His impressive scoring numbers are all the more impressive, considering he started the season in a massive shooting slump during Harrison’s first three games.
“I wasn’t frustrated, I knew it would be a long season,” said Burgos. “I changed my game up, I was playing way too fast for myself. I was playing more with the time instead of the game so I changed that and realized that I had to play my game by slowing it down a little bit.”
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Burgos became accustomed to playing against players older, bigger and stronger than him. While some adjustments did need to be made as he got more acclimated to the more structured nature of high school games, those experiences from his home country helped him prepare for the opponents he now goes up against.
“It’s different and it did help me a lot. I was playing against older guys, guys who were bigger and stronger,” said Burgos. “It helped because in our league I’m not going to get a 6-foot-5 guy guarding me. That helped me out with the physicality of basketball.”
After playing sparingly in his Covid-shortened sophomore season, Burgos was forced to play the point guard position last year due to an achilles injury to teammate Reuben Stokes. Stokes’ return to the point guard spot, has allowed him thrive
“Eddie can get from A to B without a problem, he can get to the rim if he wants,” Camano said. “It’s really hard to guard Eddie because he can hit the outside shot, but he can also drive or hit the mid-range shot. He’s just a really good all-around player.”
With more than 640 career points, Burgos has an outside shot at reaching 1,000 points if he continues the torrid pace of the past two weeks. He also hopes to play basketball in college.
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Jason Bernstein | Observer Sports Writer
Jason Bernstein joined The Observer as its sports writer in March 2022, following the retirement of Jim Hague. He has a wealth of sports-writing experience, including for NJ Advance Media (nj.com, The Jersey Journal, The Star-Ledger.)