It's as nice a Memphis basketball story as you'll read this year. Former Memphis Tiger and Grizzly Antonio Burks has been named the men's basketball coach at Soulsville Charter School, a program funded by the Soulsville Foundation, which also manages and operates the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, Burks rose to stardom over three years at the University of Memphis under coach John Calipari. The quicksilver point guard played for the 2002 NIT champions and was named Conference USA Player of the Year after his senior season in 2003-04. Burks was chosen by Orlando in the second round of the 2004 NBA draft, but never suited up for the Magic. He played a total of 81 games for the Grizzlies during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.
Burks's playing career ended in 2009 when he was shot and nearly lost his life during a backyard robbery of a card game in Memphis. His gradual but steady recovery has proven to be a more rigorous challenge than any he faced on the hardwood.
The 34-year-old Burks starts his new job next week.