Sports editor embraces passions in leadership roles

As the Sports editor for The Lamron, junior Billy Burns is always busy—editor’s note: at least he should be. Burns does more than just edit and layout the Sports section, though—he’s a clothing designer, college basketball fan and high school basketball coach.

Burns hails from Syracuse, New York, where he attended high school at Christian Brothers Academy. Even back then, Burns kept busy. “I played basketball, I did football for a little bit up until 10th grade and then I just kind of took things in stride,” he said. Burns explained that his high school basketball teams were perennial winners—they were league champions three years in a row and lost right before the Sectional Championship during his senior year.

Burns came to Geneseo with a spot on the basketball team. As a 6-foot-3 guard, Burns had the size to match up with anyone at his position. Although a medical problem forced him off the team, Burns noted that he remains friends with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

“Over the past two years, I still talk to these kids to this day. I hang out with them pretty frequently,” he said. “I’m still actively involved with their lives and I see them every weekend. We still have a group message together … Just that experience in general has been pretty beneficial. Without them, I don’t know if my experience here would have been as positive.”

For his position on The Lamron, Burns spends hours every week writing, editing and laying out the Sports section. His inspiration to start with the paper, however, came from an unlikely source. “It was actually my mom that really suggested that I get involved in it,” he said. “I never really took writing super seriously, but it just kind of came naturally.”

Outside of Geneseo, Burns is very involved in the upstate New York community. This past summer, he started an internship with Life Clothing, a start-up company in Syracuse. “It very quickly turned into a more administrative position where I was—every single day, day-to-day work—getting to the office around 9 a.m. and I’d be calling clients or possible contacts,” he said. Burns added that he talked to reps from World Wrestling Entertainment, Hello Kitty, Sesame Street and the Buffalo Bills.

“The slogan or catch phrase is, ‘How do you live your life?’” he said. “Every single day, people are going through different struggles or achievements and everybody has a different perspective on how life has kind of come at them. So this company notices that and so the shirts and clothing that we have so far come up with have reflected that idea and model.” Burns explained that a significant portion of the profits go to a good cause, too.

“The proceeds from every item sold—20 percent of whatever’s sold—will be donated to a charity of the buyer’s choice,” Burns said.

Never one to be complacent, Burns recently began coaching high school basketball at Keshequa Central High School. “I have other coaches that are on the staff with me, but as far as basketball operations and day-to-day stuff, I’m the guy that’s controlling all of it,” he said. “We’re trying to rebuild this program because two years ago, they didn’t even have a team. So last year, they were 3-17 and so we’re already—being 1-2—looking ahead to the rest of the season. We’re just trying to get them in a position where they can be successful and it’s been a great experience so far. The kids are great; they want to learn.”

As for his next move, Burns has plenty of options. One opportunity in front of him could be an internship with Nike in their marketing department. He may also stick around and coach basketball for a while. Regardless of what he decides, Burns noted that he is optimistic about the future. “To be able to do that at this age and have a knack for the game of basketball at a younger age, I think my potential can only go higher,” he said.