Finlandia’s Marissa Burke breaks Div. III record

HANCOCK — The historic career of Finlandia women’s basketball player Marissa Burke has another bullet point. The senior finished the 2014-15 season as the NCAA Division III statistical champion for three-point field goals per game. Burke averaged 3.71 three-pointers per game to lead the nation, totaling 78 trifectas in 21 games.

“Marissa is one the best players that has ever worn the Finlandia jersey, and I don’t know that I will coach another player like her,” Coach Terry Klemett said.

The list of honors is long: 2014-15 Great South Athletic Conference MVP, two-time First Team GSAC, eight-time GSAC Player of the Week, two-time GSAC All-Academic Team, three-time team MVP, 2014-15 Finlandia University Female Student Athlete of the Year and school record holder in three-pointers in a season (87), career three pointers (269), career blocks (144) and single game record for points (43). She’s also second for career points-per-game (15.1) and career points with 1,445. Marissa is third in career rebounds with 676.  Four times Burke scored 40 or more points in a game.

“Marissa is just an unreal person, student and basketball player,” Klemett said. “I have never been around anyone with her passion and desire not just for basketball, but anything she does. She never played for statistics. She just wanted to win.  She turned our program around by becoming a great leader, friend to her teammates and by being willing to sacrifice anything for her team or for a win.  I can’t even put into words what she has meant to this university and basketball program.”

Burke played four years for Finlandia after graduating from Watersmeet High School. She graduated this year with a nursing degree, and is now starting a career as a nurse.