An Open Letter from Kody Burke
May 23, 2014
RALEIGH - Following the end of a historic career with the NC State women's basketball program and a selection in the third round of the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics, Kody Burke wrote the following letter to the Wolfpack fans who have so passionately supported her and the women's basketball program throughout the course of her career.
Burke had an incredible career for the Wolfpack, one which will remain in State's record books for some time. She finished her senior season ranked second in program history in appearances (132) and blocks (197), ninth in program history in career rebounds (832), and 11th in program history in career points scored (1,588).
Academically, the native of Northridge, Calif., was also very strong. Burke was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and in 2014 became just the third Wolfpack women's basketball player in program history to earn first team honors. She was also a four-time member of the All-ACC Academic Team and was the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Kay Yow Scholar Athlete of the Year.
- - - -
To my friends and loved ones who have asked or questioned my next step:
In April 2014, I was drafted into the WNBA by the Washington Mystics. I was very excited about the opportunity, as it seemed like a dream come true. After spending a week and a half in D.C. participating in training camp and playing two preseason WNBA games, I was released by the team. Being cut from the WNBA definitely hurt me as my dreams of playing in the WNBA were shattered, but I knew God had a plan for me.
After being released from the team, I contacted PNC Bank, who had offered me a position with the company prior to the draft, and informed them of my WNBA status. They informed me that the offer was still on the table, but I would have to be fully committed to the company if I were to accept the offer. I was faced with a difficult decision: to pursue professional basketball overseas or accept the job offer from PNC Bank. Both career options had plenty to offer. Overseas basketball offered the opportunity to experience a foreign country, immerse myself in the culture, and mature as an adult and basketball player in the hopes of someday earning a spot in the WNBA. The job offer from PNC offered an excellent training program in a field that aligned with my major, great income, and is located in Raleigh, N.C.; a city where I have met wonderful people, matured greatly, and have grown to love.
I have reflected and prayed about my next career move for quite some time, and have to decided to accept the job offer from PNC Bank. Not only will I be in Raleigh, N.C., which I am happy to say is where my heart is, I will be around people I love and those who genuinely care about me. In addition, the stability this job offers me along with excellent training will help me grown in the financial services industry and ultimately help me achieve my long-term career goal in working in the sports business. NC State University has done an excellent job in providing the proper education for me to excel in the financial services industry, and I am excited to represent the university in a prestigious program in one of the best companies for which to work, PNC Bank.
I will greatly miss playing the sport, but I have been through many ups and downs playing this game at the club, AAU, high school, and collegiate levels. I have been through so much in each and every team I have played with, and I want to enjoy a fresh new start. I want people to see the real Kody Burke outside of basketball. Do not get me wrong, basketball has done some great favors in my life, but the sport does not define me. I am much more than a basketball player, and I want all to know what I have to offer outside the sport. Retiring from playing the game will allow me to develop and retain relationships with people I deeply care about. I do hope, however, that my status as a former basketball player and Division I student athlete will serve as an outlet for me to reach out to the community and give back.
By opening up to others, I have learned to be content with my decision. I thank everyone for the support they have shown me throughout my collegiate career. I am excited to embark on a new journey in a location I love and am surrounded by people I love and who love me back. When one door closes, another one opens. Thank you all for everything!
- - - -