KELOWNA, B.C. - The latest addition to the Heat women's basketball team is Tessa Burton, who will play for UBCO starting in 2019-20, giving the Heat a third guard in their well-regarded 2019 recruiting class.
The 5-foot-10-inch wing from perennially ranked Riverside Secondary has done nothing but succeed in her athletics career so far.
Hailing from Coquitlam, Burton is a two-time Club National Champion with the VK Basketball, and with the elite Vancouver based basketball club has travelled around North American since she joined the program in 2016. Prior to her time with VK, Burton was also a member of Team BC in 2015 under the tutelage of Alex Rucker and Alan Kristmanson.
Burton is the second member from VK to commit to the Heat in this year's recruiting class, following the signing of 6'3" forward, Emily Instant.
With her high school team, the Riverside Secondary Rapids, she has finished in the top-six in the province twice, both in 2016 and 2018, and her team is seeded third headed into the upcoming BC high school championship.
Buying into the theory that a multi-sport athlete is a well-rounded athlete, Burton has excelled on the volleyball court as well as basketball. As a volleyball player on the Rapids varsity team, Burton helped win a District Championship in 2015 and she was named her school's Athlete of the Year in every season since 2015 and has won the MVP award for both her basketball and volleyball team.
"I am excited to play on the Heat because I will get to learn a lot from the returning players and experience playing at the next level," commented the skilled wing following her commitment.
When she arrives on the Okanagan campus of UBC, Burton will enter the Sciences program with the hopes of getting into pharmaceutical sciences. She has a long list of academic accomplishments to go along with her athletic excellence, tallying over 10 academic awards at Riverside, most notably being named to the Honour Roll with distinction since her grade nine year.
Coach Bobby Mitchell, who is very familiar with Burton's abilities after having to coach against her in club basketball over the past few seasons, was able to identify what the highly-touted wing will bring to his program.
"Tessa is a tough competitor who can shoot the ball very well from the three-point line; you have to be aware of her at all times. She rebounds the ball well, defends hard, and has a great sense for the game," was Mitchell's scouting report.
"She is a great addition and we look forward to having her here and what she can do, I think she will surprise people with how quickly she can adjust to the next level," added Burton's future coach.
As noted, Burton will join VK teammate Emily Instant on the Heat roster next year. Those two club teammates will be joined by two members of the Junior Heat Club basketball program; with the earlier commitment of Kelsey Falk (Vernon, BC) and Jaeli Ibbetson (Kelowna, BC). Jenessa Knapp, a guard from Brookswood Secondary and Saskatoon guard, Mira Witt will round out the recruiting class.