Metea Valley senior Lucy Burk is winding down her final season for the Mustang basketball team and will soon return to the soccer pitch come springtime for one last ride with the black and gold. She was a vital part of a Mustang soccer squad that won the 2022 3A state championship during her sophomore season and hopes to capture another in her final campaign. But for the time being, while she’s sinking buckets, she has a new partner in crime in the huddle. This partner is no stranger to the Burk household as her sister Annie takes the court in the varsity rotation as a sophomore.
“It means everything to me. She’s my best friend on and off the court, so, yeah, I think it helps to be with her just for a little bit more time before I leave,” said Metea Valley senior guard Lucy Burk.
“I knew she was going to make a great name for herself because going from playing starting on JV last year to now starting on varsity, I think it was a huge change for her individually and a huge adjustment she had to make, and she’s handled it perfectly,” added Lucy.
“Me and her have, like, a connection on and off the court. So I enjoy being able to play, and like, having that close of a connection with someone,” said Annie Burk.
Both Burk sisters show support on and off the court
That connection remains on point whether they’re playing together or cheering each other on while competing in their respective sports. Annie is also a member of the Mustang volleyball team, where she played on junior varsity. Each Burk did give the other sports a try, with Lucy playing volleyball and Annie playing club soccer in their youth. When it came time to enter the halls of Metea Valley, Lucy preferred taking shots into the back of the soccer net, while Annie just sends volleyballs over the net into next week. However, basketball will be that one sport that lives in their DNA and bonds them together.
“I’ve loved basketball ever since I was a kid. It was actually the first sport that I fell in love with. And Annie eventually did, too. She’d always get moved up to come and play with my team for the YMCA league and younger leagues. So I think that kind of built our bond even stronger,” said Lucy.
“I really enjoy being able to play with her because, like, she knows, like, since we’ve been playing in the same clubs and been playing together for a long time. So we understand each other. And she’s like, it’s like a comfort I can have on the court,” said Annie.
This is Annie’s first varsity season on the basketball court, while Lucy spent all four of her varsity years with black and gold. Like all first-year players, Annie had some learning curves but was grateful to have her older sister on her side.
“She makes me try my hardest and play my best. She always supports me if I’m, like, having a bad game or if I’m having a bad practice; she is always able to lift me up,” said Annie.
Playing the role of hero in a recent win
That advice has helped Annie take big strides this season and even take her game to another level in a victory on January 27th against Bartlett where she played the role of hero for the Mustangs.
“It’s been incredible; coming into the season, she didn’t have like a lot of confidence, but eventually, it built. Now, she’s an incredible player who can come on at any point in the game. It was a game against Bartlett she hit the game-winning shot,” said Lucy.
With this being the only season together on the court, the siblings will remain each other’s number one fans when they compete in their respective sports going forward. Lucy is hoping to help the Mustang soccer team win another state title, while Annie is hoping to get a taste of that state experience with the volleyball team, which won the school’s first-ever state championship while she was in eighth grade. But for now, Lucy will continue to enjoy every moment with her sister on the court.
“It’s just been so much fun being able to spend time together, go home together, come to practice together and reflect on the same things. It means everything, actually,” said Lucy. For more prep sports stories, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!