MIAMI, Fla. – Although their basketball worlds are usually an ocean apart, Alec Burks enjoys working out with Kyle Weems during the summers.
The two have been working out together in the Kansas City area since Burks’ final season at the University of Colorado in 2011.
“He’s a good dude,” Burks said. “He’s a great basketball player.”
Burks, 24, is in his fifth season with the Utah Jazz after being selected 12th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft while Weems, 26, went undrafted the following year and is in his fourth year playing professionally overseas.
Weems is in his first season playing for Strasbourg in France. He is averaging 10.9 points and 4.2 points in 11 games.
Schedules make it tough, but the two stay in contact throughout the season.
“We try to, but he’s over the waters playing great and I’m here, but in the summers I see him nearly every day,” Burks said.
Weems, a Highland Park product and Missouri State standout, has made strides in his game since turning pro and Burks has taken notice.
“He’s a lot more athletic than he was when I first met him,” Burks said. “He’s a tough competitor. He can really shoot it, just a lot of things. He’s just evolved his game like everybody else does.’
Burks is a 6-foot-6, 214-pound shooting guard and enjoys the battles against Weems, who is also 6-6 and weighs 227 pounds.
“He’s bigger than me obviously so I get to play against a bigger guard and learn how to post-defend because he’s good in the post,” Burks said. “It’s just great going against him when we play in the summer.”
Burks and the Jazz have started their season 4-3 with five of their first seven games on the road.
“It’s been good,” Burks said. “We’ve had some great wins on the road and some tough losses.”
Burks is coming off of a season-high 24 points behind a career-high four 3-pointers in a 118-114 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday. He is averaging 15.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists through seven games.
“I’ve been good, I’m healthy, that’s the main thing,” Burks said. “I have a good feeling about my game.”
Burks has averaged 10.4 points over 235 games with the Jazz.