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Assigned Reading: Nebraska assistant Rashon Burno overcame adversity in promising basketball career

Getty Images

Getty Images

Rashon Burno was hired as Nebraska’s newest assistant coach back in May. The move was viewed as a nice pickup for Tim Miles.

The diminutive point guard was a three-year captain at DePaul (1998-2002) and gained valuable experience from some of the game’s top coaches, from his high school days playing for Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley at powerhouse St. Anthony in his native Jersey City to the last three seasons he spent on the bench alongside two-time national champion Billy Donovan.

However, the 37-year-old coach had to go through more than his share of hardships to get to where he is today, as Lee Barfknecht featured in Saturday’s Omaha World-Herald:

Burno, 37, grew up in the Duncan Projects public housing complex in Jersey City — a tough enough challenge considering the crime, drug use and other daily misdeeds in the area.

The degree of difficulty grows exponentially when you are one of six children and both parents die by the time you are 8 and you have to move in with your grandmother. Multiply that even more when Grandma develops Alzheimer’s two years later and has to move to a care facility.

Burno’s coaching career began in 2007 as a teach and coach at Marmion Academy in Chicago. He made stops at Towson State, Manhattan and Florida before joining the Cornhuskers’ staff.

Burno replaces Chris Harriman, who accepted the associate head coaching position at New Mexico. Harriman was also part of an inspirational story, as his son Avery has courageously fought several battles with leukemia.

Follow @terrence_payne