Willie R. Burton is a former professional NBA athlete, an accomplished international youth program and professional athletic facilitator, mentor, and father. Burton uses the experiences of his past to help youth succeed in conditions that are set up for them to fail.
Burton, born in 1968, attended St. Martin De Porres High School. While there, Burton played basketball and later attended the University of Minnesota and played basketball for the Golden Gophers. Burton helped lead the Golden Gophers to the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight; additionally, he is the reigning second all-time scoring leader for the University of Minnesota. Upon leaving the University of Minnesota, Burton entered the NBA and played for fourteen years, most notably for the Miami Heat.
Burton has used his past history of alcohol and substance abuse to help youth understand the importance of staying clean for success. Recently, Burton started Educated Stars of Tomorrow, Inc. to mentor students particularly, scholar athletes and those involved in extracurricular activities. Educated Stars of Tomorrow, Inc. has started implementation in the Detroit Public Schools District, with plans of expanding to other districts in the coming years. In addition to Burton’s work in Detroit, he has worked with youth in an international stage.
Burton also recently served simultaneously as an outreach coordinator for the Detroit Recovery Project and the grant funded Random Student Drug Testing Program. While in these roles, Burton worked with students, school staff, and parents to educate them on the importance of knowing their HIV/AIDS status and living a drug free lifestyle.
In addition to all this, Burton also, serves on the Legends of Basketball for the NBA as a Public Relations Representative, as the Founder and Director of Community Outreach for Jewells Place International, and as a Program Facilitator for Rainbow Days, Inc. in Dallas. Not to mention, Burton is consistently sowing back into his community by planning and managing computer give-a-ways, building green houses for low-income families, and serving as a mentor to many youth.
Burton currently lives in the Detroit-area and is the proud father to three boys and one girl.