College Basketball

Michigan Basketball: Juwan Howard adds former Alabama guard & McDonald’s All-American Nimari Burnett via transfer portal

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We are seeing plenty of movement this college transfer portal so far, as Michigan basketball continue their busy offseason after adding a former McDonald’s All-American player to their roster.

This Thursday, the University of Michigan Athletics recruited young Nimari Burnett, a No.34-ranked athlete in 2020, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The six-foot-four guard announced his intention to leave the Crimson Tide after he wasn’t a starting role player this last season, as he averaged 5.6 points having only played under 15 minutes per match.

His shot efficiency also wasn’t bad at all, as he dropped 36.8% from field goal attempts, and 32.1% from behind the arc, after participating in 27 contests for Alabama.

Curious as it is, the Wolverines have been behind Burnett for some time now. Back when he was being recruited from high school, coach Juwan Howard actually recieved a minor NCAA violation after mentioning the young player’s name as an official new recruit during a press conference.

The truth was, Nimari hadn’t even signed any paperwork to become a Wolverine, and eventually made his decision to become a freshman an Texas Tech. During his time in Lubbock, the guard only played in 12 games, averaging 5.3 points before he decided to leave the squad for “personal reasons.”

Once he finally made it to Alabama, he suffered a torn ACL, and missed out of action during 2021 and most of 2022. As Burnett recovered from his injury and returned to basketball courts, he actually started his first nine matches for coach Nate Oats, but hurt his wrist back in December.

Burnett’s last game for the Crimson Tide was their recent Sweet Sixteen elimination

It took him a month to make his way back, as he came off the bench in the final 18 contests for the Crimson Tide, including the No.1 seed’s loss to San Diego State in the Sweet Sixteen stage of this current March Madness edition.

“As much as it’s about being disgruntled, it’s also about doing what’s best for yourself,” Burnett told the press back in Tuscaloosa. “Although that may sound a certain way, it’s not. You came into this situation to better yourself as a player and a person. Although I have done that, I do think I can get better, even better. Just be in a better situation.”

Check out the young guard’s highlights for Alabama this campaign:

Burnett, who finished High School at Prolific Prep in California, is actually a Chicago native who expects to find the best version of his young basketball career in Michigan’s backcourt.

“Michigan is the best place for me to thrive, offensively and defensively,” Burnett said yesterday. “I’ve known coach Juwan Howard for a long time now, ever since I was a kid. I’ve always had a good relationship with him and I just felt it was the best place for me to be.”

As the Wolverines just lost Jett Howard to the upcoming NBA Draft, Kobe Bufkin’s future is uncertain, and it still remains unclear if Jaelin Llewellyn will make his way back to the program, Burnett hopes to fill in those empty spaces to prove he’s still worthy of going pro someday.

Antonio is a life long sports enthusiast and professional journalist, who shares an obssesive urge to find and dig up the most interesting facts to guide gamblers towards more exciting, yet safe bets. In his own words, ''you can never really know enough about the things you love''.

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