The Lancaster-Lebanon League basketball landscape got an overhaul in August with Ty Burton’s announcement Friday that he is transferring from Lampeter-Strasburg to IMG Academy.
“This is the best thing for me to chase my dreams,’’ Burton said Sunday.
He dropped the news via Twitter:
“I am thankful to have grown up in the LS community. It has been an amazing time where people believed in me, friendships were made for the rest of my life, and a place in my heart that will never be replaced. This was a very hard decision to make, but I will be transferring to IMG Academy for my junior year.”
Burton, a 5-10 point guard who will be a junior, was named first-team Class 5A all-state last season, after he averaged 21.2 points per game, shooting 56 percent from the field, 40 percent from the three-point arc and 89 percent from the foul line.
The Pioneers went 27-1, winning the Lancaster-Lebanon League and District Three 5A titles. Burton made the game-winning three-pointer in the Pioneers’ 50-47 defeat of Hempfield for the league title, and his four-point play - a three plus a foul - with two minutes left locked up L-S’ 66-57 defeat of Shippensburg in the district final.
“I’ll remember that season alone for the rest of my life,’’ Burton said Sunday. “So awesome, so fun to play with my best friends. That’s what made this decision hard. It does hurt. I will miss it, for sure.’’
Burton also had a big summer, playing for Philly Pride on the Under Armour Association U16 national circuit and being named MVP of the Big Shot Spooky Nook Final, a U17 tournament held at Spooky Nook Sports Complex last month.
Burton attended IMG, an elite sports academy in Bradenton, Fla., as an eighth-grader, and played on an undefeated junior high team.
He returned to Lancaster County mostly because he missed it.
“I’m not going to lie — I didn’t expect a district ’ship out of it,’’ he said in March, on the floor of the Giant Center after the 2022 district final win.
“I just wanted to be at home, playing with my buddies.’’
Burton was named third-team all-state as a freshman after leading L-S to a 9-4 record and the second round of districts in the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season.
“I was recruited (by IMG this summer),’’ he said. “I still have a connection there, obviously they knew who I was.’’
Burton has a scholarship offer from Division One Manhattan and recruiting interest from Pitt, Columbia, Princeton and Radford. He has taken one college visit, to Columbia, in June.
IMG has National and Varsity teams at the high school level, plus a Post-Graduate team. It has had 11 alumni chosen in the NBA Draft, and 60 Division One college commitments since 2016. The 2019 National team won the Geico National High School Championship.
Among Burton’s teammates will be Olivier Rioux, a 7-5 15 year-old who is “the tallest teenager in the world,’’ according to the Guinness World Records.