Trenity Burdine recalls the highs and lows of Siena’s basketball career

ALBANY — Boss center Anthony Moe didn’t play when he returned to Albany on Friday, but one of his old pals from Pennsylvania took the field at the Washington Avenue Armory.

It’s a name that might be familiar to Siena basketball fans.

Former Saints striker Trenity Burdine, who played for Siena in three losing seasons from 2010 to 2013, had a game-high 33 points for the Rebels in Reading (Pennsylvania). But the Patroons raced away in the second half to win 123-100, led by 27 points from guard AJ Mosby on his 26th birthday.

“It’s been a great experience being here in Albany,” Burdine said before the game. “As I even said to teammates, I’m happy to come. There will obviously be a few people I know who will show up today. So it’s just a great feeling. Obviously, it didn’t go the way I wanted (in college), but that’s everyone’s life. You have to chart your own path. »

Moe was supposed to play Friday night in his first match after playing in Chile. But his previous flight was canceled and Moe only arrived at the Armory shortly before the tip-off. He watched the game sweaty from behind the bench, but is expected to play Sunday against Syracuse at the Armory.

Moe and Burdine, originally from Reading, both grew up in Pennsylvania and played ball together when they were younger.

“He’s my boy,” Burdine said.

Burdine, now 30, joined the Saints when Fran McCaffery was still head coach, but never got to play for him. McCaffery left for the University of Iowa after three straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles and Siena went 35-59 during Burdine’s three years playing for then-coach Mitch Buonaguro.

Burdine missed the entire 2011-12 season after surgery on his right foot, then his final 2012-13 season was a bumpy one. He and guard Rakeem Brookins missed the first three games of the season for an unspecified violation of Athletic Department rules. Then, Burdine missed six games with academic issues.

After the season, Brookins was arrested for allegedly stealing a wallet and using the victim’s card to fill Burdine’s car with gasoline, among other purchases. Burdine has not been charged with a crime.

“Ultimately, you are responsible for your own actions,” Burdine said Friday. “Siena, everything happened. It wasn’t really anything to do with me, but I was still affiliated with it just because of Rakeem. I just have to keep my head straight and do what you gotta do because I could have fueled up and quit playing basketball, but it was just a chip on the shoulder. Obviously Rahk was my roommate, he was my guy, like my close friend. I should have been able to stop him, but there was nothing I could do about it.

Burdine left Siena before his senior year because he was not going to be on a scholarship, according to Burdine. He said he was ineligible because he missed a class on a road trip. He completed his college career at NAIA’s Georgetown (Ky.) and Holland College in Canada.

Since then, he has played professionally in the National Basketball League Canada and the Basketball League. He tried out for the Patroons a few summers ago at Moe’s suggestion, but then-coach Derrick Rowland didn’t sign him.

Now he plays in his hometown for the Rebels and also works on home renovations. He has three children: a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 4 month old daughter.

He stays in touch with Brookins, who lives in Philadelphia and has a son but no longer plays basketball. “He’s my guy,” Burdine said.

While Brookins “lost the love” for acting, Burdine said, he still has it.

“Otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Burdine said. “It’s always fun. I still have gas in the tank. I probably have a few more years, then I’ll give up.

Patroons general manager and coach Will Brown coached against the 6-foot-6 Burdine when Brown coached the University of Albany.

“You know what? It’s so long,” Brown said. “I always thought he was a talented player when I saw him on the AAU circuit in high school. I knew he would come back here and play well and he did.”

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