Ohio’s Amani Burke goes in for a layup during a game at the Convo on Feb. 4. Ohio beat Toledo 61-55.
Photo taken by Hannah Ruhoff
As Ohio ended practice Friday, Tia Jameson stopped Amani Burke before she left. Jameson, Ohio’s Director of Operations, joked about Burke’s similarity to Quiera Lampkins.
“She said she wants me to be Kiki (Lampkins) on the court and off the court,” Burke said. “Not just off the court.”
Lampkins is known for her dramatics being a part of her personality. Jameson said Burke was being dramatic, just like Lampkins.
Despite her dramatic nature, Burke did her best impression of Lampkins’ on-court persona Saturday, scoring a career-high 21 points to help Ohio defeat Miami 77-63 in The Convo.
With their win over the RedHawks, the Bobcats snapped a three-game losing streak.
With seven minutes left in the third quarter, Burke hit a 3-pointer, surpassing her previous career-high of 13 points. She said it felt good to see her shots go in, an area of the game the rest of the team has struggled in as well.
“These last couple of games, I’ve just been not playing like myself,” Burke said. “It felt good to pick it back up.”
Burke, a freshman, played as if she was a senior. This game, however, isn’t representative of her season. For Burke, who has had her good and bad moments, is discovering her role among the Bobcats.
“She’s got a better feel for our offense as the season’s gone on, and where she kind of fits offensively,” coach Bob Boldon said.
Boldon said Burke was aggressive. And she was.
She drove to the basket frequently, much like Lampkins does. The only difference the two have, however, is shooting ability: Burke is better.
Entering Saturday’s game Burke shot 32.6 percent from the 3-point line, whereas Lampkins shot 26.7 percent.
But even with that difference, Burke might as well be Lampkins’ clone. Burke, who has tried to emulate Lampkins, has a chance to be the Bobcats’ next star.
“I just try to learn how she (Lampkins) reads defense so fast, and is able to move so quickly,” Burke said.
When Boldon first saw Lampkins play, he admired her explosiveness. Burke isn’t as athletic as Lampkins, but her ability to drive to the hoop is identical.
Though Burke shined, Lampkins didn’t relax. Any time Burke scored a few buckets, Lampkins would too.
“I don’t have a mini me,” Lampkins said with a laugh. “Burke is Burke and I’m Kiki. You know, she’s a great player.”
It’s still Lampkins’ team, but one thing is clear: Burke is the future of the Bobcats.
Each time Burke went to the hoop, it seemed she got fouled. She shot a game-high nine free throws, but she only made four of them. It was a bad mark on her career game, the relief of making shots not completely present.
But for Burke, perhaps the free throws will come easier, too. Just like her career-game against the Red Hawks.
“Yeah,” Burke said sadly. “And it’s weird, we work on free throws. I don’t know, I just gotta shoot ‘em straighter.”