Taking a year off from basketball is hard for most college players.
After transferring from Robert Morris University to Nebraska, guard Dachon Burke Jr. only got to play one season before hitting the end of his college career. Burke, who played his junior season with the Huskers in 2019, decided to step away from basketball, with COVID-19 changing his perspective on his goals in life.
After graduating last December and finishing the 2019-20 season with Nebraska, Burke entered the transfer portal and signed with South Alabama as a graduate transfer in April. A week later, he changed directions and declared for the NBA draft. He no longer is in the draft pool, but even with the pandemic, Burke refused to stop working.
“For me, it was just like, I’m not gonna wait until things resume, I’m going to go do something now, I’m going to invest in myself,” Burke said. “I don’t think taking a year off from basketball is going to hurt, plus this time is to be with family and friends.”
Before COVID-19, Burke said he had little free time as he juggled school and Division I basketball. With this newfound free time, he started thinking of ideas, and decided upon creating a clothing brand, “dburkearchives.” With his ideas falling into place, Burke has been on the move since, working on his brand.
Dburkearchives is made to be “one of a kind,” with pieces designed by Burke and others being sold at his shop. He considers himself a very fashionable person, and believes his brand can truly become something special.
“I love vintage,” Burke said. “That's a part of my closet, so like I’m combining old school with new school, you know, just keeping it balanced.”
Instead of choosing between a website and a store for his new brand, he created both, with a website just recently being launched and his new store currently undergoing renovations.
“I chose both because I did not want to close any doors, so online it would be my line of clothing, and then in the store it would be my line as well with other brands added in,” Burke said.
In his shop, there is a cartoon theme. One of his major inspirations is the popular late 90s/early 2000s cartoon “Codename: Kids Next Door.” The store displays pictures of the school-aged characters, which Burke hopes helps to create a welcoming environment for all of his shoppers both in-person and online.
“When you walk in and see the characters, I want you to feel comfortable, like a kid in a candy store,” Burke said. “The whole idea is supposed to be a mystery, like I want it. People may judge you on what you wear, and I like that. I like the mysterious vibes you get when walking around in my shop.”
On the brand’s website, the “Codename: Kids Next Door” theme song plays on loop while clicking through the site, which adds to the mysterious effect. The collections of pieces are called “Episodes,” including his first, which is named “Rookie vs Vet.”
With plenty of support, Burke said he is blessed to have so many people around him he can trust to help expand his business and is thankful for the time spent with his family during this pandemic.
Burke still has hopes of playing professional basketball eventually, but is focused on his clothing brand for now. Set to open his in-person shop in Lincoln sometime in November, Burke has his plate full handling his business online while also finishing up renovations.
Nebraska may be over 1,000 miles away from Burke’s hometown of Orange, NJ, but it’s a place that he’s come to appreciate over the last two years he’s spent in Lincoln. After all Burke is starting his business here, and he says that there’s no place he’d rather do it.
“Why not go all in and put it in Nebraska? I went to school here, I still love the fans, I still love the state, and to have graduated from here too, I love Nebraska man,” Burke said.