September 26, 2017
Sports
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  • Kevin Burke, left, with (l-r) wife Carol, son-in-law Scott Meyer, daughters Lauren and Kristen and son Joseph, was recently inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame in his native Pennsylvania. Burke was a two-sport athlete in baseball and basketball at Penn State and has lived in Severna Park for over 30 years.
    Courtesy photo
    Kevin Burke, left, with (l-r) wife Carol, son-in-law Scott Meyer, daughters Lauren and Kristen and son Joseph, was recently inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame in his native Pennsylvania. Burke was a two-sport athlete in baseball and basketball at Penn State and has lived in Severna Park for over 30 years.

Sports Make The Man: SP Resident Honored In Home State Of PA

Colin Murphy
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View Bio
September 7, 2017

Kevin Burke owes many of his life’s blessings to his participation in sports.

The longtime Severna Park resident was inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame this August for his exploits as an athlete hailing from his hometown of Pittston, Pennsylvania. Burke, 63, attended Penn State on a basketball scholarship and walked on to the baseball team as a sophomore, ultimately starting for three years on both the basketball and baseball teams, playing over 150 total games for the Nittany Lions and helping the baseball team to the College World Series in 1973.

Burke also excelled in the classroom, where he was an Academic All-American and the recipient of the prestigious Ernest B. McCoy Award, Penn State’s top award for athletic and academic excellence.

After settling in Severna Park in 1982, Burke and his wife, Carol, raised three student-athletes of their own. Joe (SPHS ’00) played baseball and basketball at Severna Park and went on to play basketball for Salisbury. Kristen (SPHS ’01) and Lauren (SPHS ’05) both played field hockey and lacrosse at Severna Park and went on to play lacrosse at Penn State, their father’s alma mater. Kristen is a 2012 inductee to the Severna Park Athletic Hall of Fame.

Through it all, Burke recognized the bigger picture.

“Most of the good things that have happened to me have come as the result of sports,” he said.

On top of getting a free education by way of playing two Division-I varsity sports at Penn State, Burke met Carol when she was the hostess at the restaurant where his basketball team ate its team dinners. Many of his closest friends are people he played ball with as long as 40 years ago.

After college, Burke used some of his basketball contacts to land a job with Converse, and he has been a manufacturer’s sales representative in the sports apparel and footwear industry ever since.

When he came to Severna Park, he saw his kids get to enjoy sports and benefit from them in similar ways.

“It was a natural progression because I had been so involved with sports growing up,” he said. “We certainly wanted our kids to be active and physically healthy. The Green Hornets provided great opportunities for the kids to play multiple sports.”

Burke said his recent induction to the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame was a pleasant surprise and a nice honor. Asked what his biggest accomplishments in athletics are, he cited playing in the College World Series as an exciting opportunity but noted his career and the multiple lasting relationships that have come directly or indirectly from playing sports.

“I was lucky that I got to play a couple college sports,” he said. “I was no superstar. I was a pretty good player and got to play a lot of collegiate games against a lot of really good players … I came from a blue-collar background and got a free college education, which helped my parents out a great deal. I met my wife through basketball, and many of my best friends came out of it and were teammates from high school and college. And then seeing a couple of my kids go to my alma mater and play sports was a real treat. So those are probably the biggest accomplishments. I’ve been blessed through my participation in sports, and I’m very thankful for that."


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