Athlete overcomes adversities

Challenges put in path; determination paves way for inspiration of future plans

Darsha Burnside, senior early childhood studies major, started playing for the Lancers in 2014 and has helped make an impact on the team, including her record for double-doubles and her role in helping the Lancers to a PacWest Championship and the NCAA Division II Finals last season.

Burnside, a center and forward for the team, began playing basketball during her freshman year of high school after the coaches believed she would be a great asset to the team. In her first season, she became the No. 2-ranked rebounder in the nation. She continued to play throughout high school and had signed a letter of intent to
play for the University of Arkansas, but would never get a chance to play because of a traumatic experience of getting shot.

“Anything can happen in a blink of an eye, so you shouldn’t take things you have for granted,” Burnside said.

After the shooting incident, she took two years off from basketball and began recuperating before attending San Bernardino Valley College, playing on the women’s basketball team under Sue Crebbin, head coach.

Burnside has averaged 3.53 blocks and collected 120 points overall during her time at CBU.

“Darsha is an amazing shot- blocker and rebounder,” said Jarrod Olson, head coach of the women’s basketball team. “She is a very unique player who finishes at the basket with a variety of unorthodox releases.”

This season Burnside encountered another obstacle when she had to have knee surgery.

“Life teaches you lessons and the majority of the time you should learn from them,” Burnside said.

Burnside is not only a powerful presence on the court, but an encouraging teammate on the sidelines.

“Darsha is a good player for our team and definitely the best post I’ve ever played with,” said Courtney Nelson, junior undeclared major and guard. “Regardless of how good she is, she’s a good teammate to me; she’ll always tell me to keep my head up and keep going.”

She said her inspiration has been her family, which is why she wants to make a better life for them and herself.

“I want to bless people how God blessed me and show young girls that the sky is the limit and anything is possible,” she said.

About Sarah Brown

Staff Writer

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