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Siena standout Burns starting pro basketball career in Bulgaria

Siena standout Burns starting pro basketball career in Bulgaria

Troy native led MAAC in field goal percentage this season after joining Saints as grad transfer
Siena standout Burns starting pro basketball career in Bulgaria
Siena forward Elijah Burns.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

LOUDONVILLE — Siena basketball standout Elijah Burns will continue his basketball career at the professional level in Bulgaria. The Troy native has signed with BC Rilski Sportist in Samokov, Bulgaria, which competes in Bulgaria’s highest professional league, the National Basketball League. 

Burns made the most of his lone season with the Saints as a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, earning two MAAC Player of the Week honors and both second-team All-MAAC and MAAC All-Tournament Team selections. He was also the recipient of the 2020 Riley Wallace Award, presented by CollegeInsider.com to the nation’s top Division I mid-major transfer.

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Burns led the MAAC in field goal percentage at 62.2%, while his 85.9% mark at the free throw line was third in the conference. Burns also finished in the top 10 in the conference in scoring, rebounding and offensive rebounding. He posted three double-doubles and scored 19 points or more on 10 occasions, including a 28-point effort on 10 of 13 shooting in just 24 minutes Dec. 21 against Bucknell.

Siena wnet 20-10 this past season and 15-5 in conference play, winning the league’s regular-season title. Siena was also awarded its sixth MAAC Tournament title following the event’s cancellation due to COVID-19.

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