• Indiana

STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Going To The Saint — Blackhawk Christian’s ‘Pippen’ picks St. Francis

By: SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN, January 6, 2021, 10:52 am

Big things are afoot again in Blackhawkland. The Braves are undefeated on the basketball court and the Z-Factor has shored up his college plans. Hint: he won’t be going far from the home front.

Ft. Wayne Blackhawk Christian senior guard Zane Burke committed to St. Francis over the weekend. In case you didn’t know, the Z-Factor is the X-Factor for Blackhawk Christian Brave fans.

The 6-foot-2 Burke is one of the best small-school players in the Hoosier State. As a sophomore, he won a Class A state title, scoring 10 points in a 60-43 win over Barr-Reeve in the state championship game. He plays alongside Mr. Basketball candidate and Purdue-signee Caleb Furst, so he’s not unfamiliar with high-level competition in practice. If Furst, is the state’s small-school Michael Jordan in ’21, Burke is Scottie Pippen.

Blackhawk Christian is 8-0 this season and Burke is averaging 20 points, eight boards and five assists per game.

St. Francis is a NAIA school in Ft. Wayne, so Burke will be playing his college hoops close to home. In terms of efficiency and basketball IQ, Burke might be the best there is in the state’s small school ranks. He shoots a high percentage and finishes at the rim through contact.