skip navigation

Cardinal O'Hara's Aasim "Flash" Burton continues Philly pipeline to Rider

08/17/2023, 12:15pm EDT
By Owen McCue

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

Aasim “Flash” Burton had a chance to watch the Rider men’s basketball team in person as a sophomore. Over the last two years, he’s had a few more chances to get a closer look at the Broncs.

One thing stood out about coach Kevin Baggett’s team. 

“I’ve watched some of their games before and they got dogs,” Burton said.

Burton said Baggett and his staff had eyes on him since his sophomore season at Math, Civics & Sciences and continued to track him with Cardinal O’Hara last season and East Coast Power this spring and summer.

They thought his two-way game would fit in with the rest of their “dogs,” offering him a scholarship after their team camp in early June. Mount St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart were the other programs at the top of his recruitment, but the Broncs stood out. After an unofficial visit in early August sold him on his fit, Burton announced his decision to commit to Rider last week.

“I went down there and the vibe was great. It felt like home when I got there,” Burton said. “I watched their practice and I felt I could fit in perfect. I feel like the coaches, they really like me and they needed me. They always say you want to go to the school that doesn’t want you, they need you.”

Cardinal O'Hara's Aasim "Flash" Burton announced his commitment to Rider last week. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

During his 11 years in Lawrenceville, N.J., Baggett has consistently tapped into the Philadelphia area for talent. Last year, he had six players from Southeastern Pa. on the roster and he’ll have four again next season.

Redshirt-senior Allen Powell (La Salle), senior Tariq Ingraham (Bonner-Prendergast) and  sophomore Anthony McCall (ANC) return to the squad next season and wing Ife West-Ingram (Abington Friends) is heading there next year along with guard Ruben Rodriguez (Reading) and forward Moustapha Sanoh (Executive Education), who technically aren’t locals but played quite a bit of hoops around the area. 

Burton described Powell as family and went up against Rodriguez last year, so he had the chance to get a little insight into the program.

“I started talking to Allen Powell and Ruben, just seeing what kind of culture they had up there,” Burton said.

Burton and Cardinal O’Hara traveled to the Geigle Complex last season to face off against eventual Class 6A state champion Reading and Rodriguez, a 2,000-point scorer for the Red Knights. The Lions dropped the contest 68-65, but Burton came away with a profound respect for Rodriguez’s game.

“When I saw Ruben, I was like, ‘How do you get to be a dog?’ and stuff like that. He really stays down on defense and plays 94 feet,” Burton said.

Burton noted his own commitment to the defensive end of the floor is something that stuck out to the Rider staff as well, along with his passing and scoring ability. They let their guards play freely and push the pace, which he said fits his game.

He averaged 9.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, and 1.6 spg at MCS as a sophomore then averaged 13.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.0 apg and 1.7 spg in his Philadelphia Catholic League debut with the Lions last season while starring alongside Izaiah Pasha.

He saw his confidence continue to grow this summer with East Coast Power, where he was one of the go-to guys on one of the Hoop Group circuit's top teams.

“I finally got the mentality that I’m the best player on the court at all times,” Burton said. “Even if I miss three shots in a row, keep shooting because that’s the mentality that got me to where I am.”

Burton points to going to the park with his mom as a young kid for where his love of the game started. He’d put up shot after shot with his little plastic ball before she took him home. When he got older, around 13, people like Shon Minnis, whose son “Biggie” played at Texas Tech and Rhode Island, tried to help guide him in the right direction for his basketball future.

Those in his corner are excited about Burton landing at Rider, where he said he plans to study broadcasting.

“They all had confidence in me. They’re not overthinking it, they’re not panicking they really feel confident that I can go there and play and be Flash,” Burton said.

“There are a lot of people (at Rider) who are willing to keep pushing me to get to the next level,” Burton added.

Burton’s commitment to Rider came just a few days after Cardinal O’Hara teammate Pearse McGuinn announced his commitment to Stonehill. With their college decisions behind them, the duo can focus on improving on the Lions’ seventh place finish in the PCL and a second-round finish in states, which Burton couldn’t play in after his transfer.

“It’s always to go to the Palestra,” Burton said of his goals for 2023-24. “Other than that it’s first team All-PCL and I really want to make everybody better for the future of O’Hara.”

D-I Coverage:

HS Coverage:

Tag(s): Home  Recruiting  Contributors  Owen McCue  High School  Catholic League (B)  Cardinal O'Hara