When he was a kid playing in the Columbus, Ohio youth leagues, officials would prohibit him from stealing the ball until the opponent crossed half court in an effort to try and keep competition fair. Now Trey Burke is projected to go in the top five of next month's NBA draft.
Besides father-slash-basketball agent Benji Burke signing Trey to Infinite Sports Concepts, the group most excited to be a part of Burke's future is The Legacy Agency (TLA).
The sophomore sensation from Michigan wasted no time making a big splash with his off-the-court representation—becoming TLA's first-ever active NBA client.
After the signing between Burke and TLA was made official Monday, May 20, Senior Director of Talent Marketing & Corporate Partnerships Brandon Swibel couldn't hide his excitement.
"We are in the position where we have the relationships with the right people, and we've just been waiting for the right NBA guy to come along. Trey has the image both on the court and off the court where we're not going to have to worry about him getting negative press or getting in trouble."
"When Trey became more familiar with the brilliant campaigns we've done with some of our other athletes like Reggie Bush, CC Sabathia and Ndamukong Suh, he was excited about the opportunity to come in and have all of our attention as our first active NBA client."
Swibel added, "we wanted to make sure that the first NBA player we brought on board was worthwhile and someone we want to build around."
Burke is smart to enlist the services of TLA, and capitalize on branding his image off the court.
The 20-year-old has already amassed over 87,000 twitter followers (Trey_Burke3) and has more than 122,000 fans on Instagram (Tr3yBurke).
It's that kind of command over social media that has Swibel and TLA drooling over the potential influence he'll have on corporate partners who are looking to utilize social media as part of their marketing.
Burke also has a a genuine human nature about himself, one of the bigger factors why TLA is excited for their partnership.
"He really credits his parents [Benji and Ronda] for instilling all the values he has," said Swibel. "It's good to see a guy who is about to be an NBA player fulfil his dream, but not forget where he came from and what got him there."
Rumors of Burke potentially landing with a small market team like the Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings or New Orleans Pelicans are swirling, but Swibel and TLA are not worried about the market size that their newest client goes to.
"From a marketing standpoint, we would always like an attractive market for Trey, but it's his play on the court that will drive everything. We just hope that he ends up somewhere that's a good basketball situation."
"If he can go to a team where he can make an impact right away, I think that would be a good opportunity."
TLA, unabashedly, has put all their basketball eggs into the basket of the reigning 2012-2013 consensus National Player of the Year, foreseeing and anticipating a fruitful investment in Burke.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.