Penn’s Markus Burton named 2023 Indiana Mr. Basketball

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 8:13 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU) - It’s been 45 years since Indiana Mr. Basketball called the South Bend/Mishawaka area home.

Penn High School senior guard Markus Burton has finally put an end to that streak.

Burton was named this year’s recipient of the prestigious award during the Indiana High School Sports Awards banquet on Wednesday night at Butler University, making him the first Indiana Mr. Basketball from Michiana since Warsaw’s Kevin Ault in 1996 and the first from South Bend/Mishawaka since LaSalle’s David Magley in 1978.

“It was nerve-racking. My heart was beating extremely fast,” Burton said afterwards. “When they called my name, it just felt so relieving to go up to the stage and know that I won Mr. Basketball.”

Burton took the stage to accept the award in front of thunderous applause, but no one was louder than his biggest support group — his family.

“My family means a lot to me,” Burton said. “A lot of my family members came to a lot of games. They showed a lot of support, not just for me, but my teammates, too. I couldn’t ask for a better fan base than that, and I just want to thank them, and I love them all.”

Burton, who was named to the 2023 Indiana All-Stars roster earlier this month, is Penn’s first-ever All-Star team selection for boys basketball. The Notre Dame commit scored 909 points as a senior, averaging 30.3 points (which led the state), 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 3.3 steals per game to lead the Kingsmen within one point of a Class 4A state finals appearance.

For his career, Burton scored 2,273 points to rank No. 20 on the state’s all-time scoring list. He’s also the all-time scoring leader in St. Joseph County boys basketball history and Kingsmen boys basketball history.

No one knows the importance of this award to a community better than his head coach, Al Rhodes, who has now coached three Indiana Mr. Basketball winners — Jeff Grose (Warsaw, 1985), Ault, and Burton.

“Penn High School has never had an Indiana All-Star let alone a Mr. Basketball,” Rhodes said. “So, for Markus to be our first All-Star and bring the kind of recognition that Mr. Basketball does to the northern part of the state, it’s great for our whole area. Especially since he’s staying and going to be playing at Notre Dame.”

According to Tom Noie from our reporting partners at the South Bend Tribune, Burton will be the third Indiana Mr. Basketball to play at Notre Dame since 2000, and the first since 2009 when Luke Zeller (2005 winner) closed his collegiate career.

Burton was one of six finalists for Indiana Mr. Basketball. The other five finalists were Xavier Booker (Indianapolis Cathedral), Myles Colvin (Heritage Christian), Zane Doughty (Ben Davis), Joey Hart (Linton-Stockton), and Mason Jones (Valparaiso).

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